As I walked up toward Big Apple on Polk Street, I saw a person who was lying on the ground. I couldn’t tell if they were male or female, but I could tell you what color their underwear was. The person wore blue underwear exposed beneath the jeans that were pulled down to make it easier for them to scratch at their behind.
Needless to say, I turned tail and went the other way to avoid the sight any further. Muttering under my breath asking why was I subjected to something like that. If it’s not being flashed by a person doing personal business, it is also people looking for a handout or holding court to their acquaintances. But this has become somewhat of a common sight here in our city, which became the newest controversy surrounding Proposition L. Proposition L was placed on the ballot by Mayor Gavin Newsom to bypass the political pressure of its defeat by the city supervisors, chiefly by Supervisor Chris Daly.
When people hear about Proposition L, or as it has been dubbed “Sit/Lie,” it’s that it will marginalize what day laborers will be able to do while they wait for work. They hear about how it will be enforced with a draconian zeal, where people will just not be able to sit at all, or face punishment. The sad part is when people bypass the true purpose of this ordinance: public safety.
When I see on the streets people who ignore common decency and behave barbarically in front of children or the elderly, something needs to be done. When citizens who have a right to safety and protection by the law are being told to hold their mouths because it is not politically correct to disparage the feelings of the less fortunate, I can only ask, what about my rights and feelings? Do my rights as a San Franciscan get marginalized because this is an impolitic thing to do?
Thinking on this matter, it only really touches on the surface of this issue. The meat that is awaiting the care of government officials and public-sector social workers is what shall we do with those that are homeless, especially should this pass? The city has never had a measure put into place as to how this issue needs to be handled. Instead of us fussing over what to tell the homeless is legal or not, let’s get these parties together to have them hammer out an amenable solution to prevent homelessness, or even provide some services that are better funded in order to bring it to a minimal and manageable level.
While I find myself aligning with a yes vote on Proposition L, I do wish to have more operable solutions that seek out a cure to this problem, instead of pet issues that will penalize some for the sake of the majority.