With h. brown
San Francisco mayoral candidate, h. "Court Jester" Brown.
Newsom co-opts Court Jester's platform
September 14, 2007
"My promise is to fire your boss.
That will be 61 department heads
and hundreds of commissioners, agency
and authority directors and their PR staffs.
I will replace them with veteran City employees
from within those departments, agencies
(my ballot statement from June)
Geez, I only put one promise in my statement
for the Voter Handbook and Newsom rips it off 58 days before the
election. I've been ranting about Gavin's hypocrisy for continually
saying during the last campaign that "you can't do things
the same way and expect different results," then keeping
everything (particularly the usual suspects) in charge. I guess
he shut me up.
Is my radio haunted?
I'm watching the 49'ers on the tube but the reception is bad
and the sound goes up and down uncontrollably, so I have the game
on the radio too. Sound down on TV.
The first half there was about a 2 second delay from the time
the play happened on the tube and when they described it on the
radio. I thought about it and assumed it was a delay in case one
of the commentators started cursing a blue streak or something.
Then, the second half, the radio has been ahead of the TV image?
Yeah, really. Go figure. It's stranger than the sound being delayed
because you can hear what's going to happen a couple of beats
before it happens on the television. It is truly weird. You know
the pass will be incomplete. You know how far a run will go. Kind
of like God, you know (well, they won like God was involved).
Who is Rod Laughridge?
And, why does he hate our Candidates Collaborative?
"We'll probably try to keep it to 6
so people get enough time to respond."
(Laughridge to Dr. Sumchai)
He was inviting Ahimsa to a Friday evening forum on Channel
29's 'Newsroom' during the same time as our weekly Collaborative
debate. I wonder how many candidates will choose the TV show over
This is getting more interesting all the time. We have 2 candidates
out of the race, one in jail and another threatened with prosecution.
Now, we have a Cable Access news show trying to divide us further.
I got a feeling I ain't seen nothin' yet.
The Board is back and Peskin continues to schedule two committees
in the same time slot just to fuck with me. OK, maybe not but
it sure seems like it.
Today is was particularly bad because the only 2 items that
interested me (Grand Jury report on SFPD and Public Safety Concerns
in the Tenderloin) were at the same time and in different committees
on different channels. And, they were tied closely together.
As I flipped channels I listened to the cops say that they were
still studying which jobs in the department could be civilianized
just as they've been studying the issue for the last 16 years.
Were they to just increase their percentage of civilians in the
department to 20% (San Diego has 34%) they could put another 200
cops on foot patrols.
That was in Sean Elsbernd's Government Audits and Oversight
Committee which hurried the review along and listened to the head
of SFPD Homicide argue that the increase in the number of murders
by knife was actually a good thing because it was evidence that
the cops had been so successful getting more guns off the streets.
They're getting real creative on defining deaths as something
other than 'murder' too.
In the other room Chris Daly (he's on Audits too, so had to
keep running back and forth across the hall) was presenting a
fascinating group of Tenderloin stakeholders in a discussion before
Ross Mirkarimi's Public Safety Committee concerning crime in the
Tenderloin. Their discussion made it obvious that the thing they
need most (should say 'we' need, cause I live here too)
thing the neighborhood needs the most is cops on foot.
Terance Allen told of a project called 'Safe Haven' that he
and several neighborhood merchants have formed. The idea is that
they put up a decal that says 'Safe Haven' and it means that if
someone is getting chased to be mugged or murdered, they can duck
into that business and be protected.
Isn't that the cops' job? Citizen after citizen came forward
with exactly the same story. Someone from the Academy of Art on
U.N. Plaza came to say that the vermin there regularly hassle
the students and could the cops do something cause they would
if it were happening in Pacific Heights.
People talked about why did the cops allow a dozen to twenty
drug dealers to populate the corners of O'Farrell and Jones for
24/7/365? They asked how they could get closed businesses open
around Golden Gate and Jones and elsewhere.
The cops don't put more feet on the street because it's dangerous
work and they don't want to take any more chances than they have
to. Their union keeps as many as possible completely off the streets
and in the stations and headquarters at all times.
They don't fly helicopters cause that's too dangerous. They
don't have kiosks in bad spots or even tourists areas because
that's too dangerous. Ideally, they'd like to telecommute from
Walnut Creek through their crime cameras. A 'Telecommute Foot
Patrol', now that's something. Then if they saw any crime, they
could send Robo Cop.
The storefronts in the area people complained about are empty
because guys like Walter Shorenstein own most of them and they
emptied them so that the neighborhood would become blighted and
eligible for more government funds for them.
The dealers are corralled into one area because they know that
if they go to a nicer neighborhood, the cops will arrest them.
It's called a 'Containment Zone' and it exists because it takes
fewer cops to cover the smaller spaces and the last thing the
cops want is to have to get out of their cars or from behind their
desks and walk where you walk. The dealers and their customers
all know where they can deal. Same with the hookers and theirs.
Nothing will change
In Elsbernd's committee the cops referred to their brand new
contract that runs until June of 2011. It keeps the streets dangerous
and them out of danger to the maximum degree possible. Problem
for us is that the safer it is for the cops, the more dangerous
it is for us. And, it won't change because Newsom will give them
even more power in the next contract because he'll be running
for governor and will need the SFPD to tell the Prison Guards
Union what a great guy he is.
The best source for the needed increase in foot patrol and kiosk
and helicopter and bus cops is civilianization. The way the cops
were able to blow off the Grand Jury Report and say essentially
that they'd be sure and look at when they get the chance
the way the cops were able to do that shows that there won't be
any of that going on.
We don't need more cops. We have more cops than there have ever
been in the history of this city. What we need is a re-deployment
of the force we have. The business community knows all of this
very well. Thus, more and more private security is showing up
all around the City.
The Renoir Hotel across the street from me at 7th and Market,
has a constant security guy walking the sidewalk around their
building. That is not a bit unusual. Businessmen and women have
created CBD's (Community Business Districts) and several other
organizations to not just hire their own security to fill the
breach left by the inefficient deployment of the SFPD, but also
to do the job of the DPW in simply keeping the streets and sidewalks
around their shops clean.
Newsom has no ideas of his own
That's why he steals mine. And Gonzalez's. And, Ammiano's. And,
Ammiano's. Community Courts. Immigrant ID's. Tidal Energy. Gay
Marriage. Health Care. Foot Patrols. Open bathrooms. And, we know
one thing from Gavin's first 4 years.
He'll do them all half-assed and in such a way as to make it
easier for his billionaire buddies to save money and steal public
funds and property. Not to worry, though.
There is some good news too
I walked the 12 miles or so to the Bridge and back and I'm not
in pain. I did more push-ups and sit-ups and leg-ups than I have
in 10 years. I'm still not in shape but it's coming along. Let
that be a lesson to you. I want to kick Eric Jaye's ass in something
and I hear he's really been packing on the pounds.
When you go into a battle you cannot win against impossible
odds, always have a Plan B at which you have a plausible chance
of succeeding. It just makes sense.
h. brown is a 62 year-old keeper of sfbulldog.com,
an eclectic site featuring a half dozen City Hall denizens. h
is a former sailor, firefighter, teacher, nightclub owner, and
a hard-living satirical muckraker. Email
h at email@example.com.
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