San Francisco Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - C.W. Nevius is a San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle colum­nist. His col­umns ap­pear Tues­day, Thurs­day and Saturday. Email: cwnevius@ sfchron­i­ Twit­ter: @cwnevius

Soar­ing tem­per­a­tures Tues­day and Wed­nes­day will put some in­te­rior Bay Area cities into triple-digit ter­ri­tory.

San Fran­cisco Su­per­vi­sor Mark Far­rell and his “Hous­ing Not Tents” ini­tia­tive for the Novem­ber bal­lot have be­come a po­lit­i­cal light­ning rod.

Granted, the specifics are a lit­tle vague. The plan calls for the city to give tent dwellers 24-hour no­tices be­fore they are forced to move — and also a place for them to move to. It’s one of those flag­ship mea­sures that all but guar­an­tees a face­off be­tween the mod­er­ates and pro­gres­sives. Far­rell says the point of the mea­sure is to move the home­less out of tents and into hous­ing.

But, as we’ve seen, at present we don’t have enough rooms or shel­ters for all the home­less on the street.

Still, the mea­sure is bound to res­onate with home­own­ers and busi­ness­peo­ple who have had it with cam­pers pee­ing on the street and leav­ing hy­po­der­mic nee­dles on the side­walks.

There’s an ex­cel­lent chance it’ll pass. An in­for­mal poll of more than 500 peo­ple by Curbed SF found that 86.2 per­cent backed a law against side­walk camp

ing. A lop­sided re­sult like that will en­er­gize and en­cour­age mod­er­ate politi­cians to pro­mote more force­ful ef­forts to close down en­camp­ments.

That pos­si­bil­ity has en­er­gized ac­tivist groups that are de­mand­ing that Far­rell pull the leg­is­la­tion from the bal­lot. Causa Justa and the Western Re­gional Ad­vo­cacy Project are pub­lish­ing of­fice phone num­bers of mod­er­ate su­per­vi­sors and urg­ing peo­ple to call and make a “crim­i­nal­iz­ing the home­less” com­plaint, ac­cord­ing to a Causa Justa flyer.

Far­rell posted the bill on his Face­book page Wed­nes­day. Five days later, he had more than 400 “likes,” more than 130 “an­gry” clicks and 350-plus com­ments, rang­ing from call­ing Far­rell “a self­ish, en­ti­tled, in­con­sid­er­ate —hole” to “All those peo­ple who are sad can house one home­less per­son in their home.”

Mean­while, in City Hall, Su­per­vi­sor John Ava­los has in­voked what op­po­nents are call­ing “the nu­clear op­tion.” Ava­los is threat­en­ing to or­ga­nize pro­gres­sives to vote against a sales tax on the fall bal­lot that each year would con­trib­ute $100 mil­lion to trans­porta­tion and $50 mil­lion to home­less­ness. Over 25 years, Far­rell says, that would work out to $1.25 bil­lion for home­less is­sues.

Ava­los de­clined to be in­ter­viewed, but di­rected me to his Face­book page.

Su­per­vi­sors Far­rell, Scott Wiener, Katy Tang, Malia Co­hen and Mayor Ed Lee, Ava­los wrote, “have to ask them­selves if they are will­ing to forgo rev­enue for home­less­ness so they can put a vile po­lit­i­cal mea­sure on the bal­lot tar­get­ing home­less peo­ple, liv­ing in tents with no where else to go, as cam­paign fod­der.”

To which Far­rell replied, “If Su­per­vi­sor Ava­los wants his legacy ... to be vot­ing against an ad­di­tional $1.25 bil­lion in spend­ing to help our home­less get off the street over the next 25 years, that’s his de­ci­sion to make.”

Boo who?

The fuss at the an­nual Trans March on Fri­day was just point­less vent­ing — and weird. Mayor Ed Lee, state Sen. Mark Leno and Su­per­vi­sor Scott Wiener were heck­led and booed at the Dolores Park event.

Boo­ing the mayor, of course, has be­come a thing.

But Wiener and Leno, both gay, have surely earned bonus points with the trans­gen­der com­mu­nity over the years. As Leno said at the event, he pushed to add gen­der iden­tity to the Fair Em­ploy­ment Hous­ing Act.

Wiener not only at­tends the march an­nu­ally, this year he man­aged to get money in the city bud- get to pay for the fees and per­mits for the Trans March.

No mat­ter. Each was sin­gled out for heck­ling. Leno called Mon­day to say he even con­fronted some of the de­mon­stra­tors and asked them what their is­sues are.

“Do you know who I am?” Leno asked one of the heck­lers.

“No, and I don’t want to,” was the re­ply.

“It’s not ra­tio­nal,” Leno said. “It’s all emo­tional.”


Just a re­minder that, al­though it’s easy to rant about the lack of progress and un­der­stand­ing for the LBGT com­mu­nity, we’ve come a long way. Golden State War­riors Pres­i­dent Rick Welts, the first openly gay top-level ex­ec­u­tive in men’s pro­fes­sional sports, was the key­note speaker Sun­day at the an­nual Alice B. Tok­las Break­fast be­fore the Pride Pa­rade.

He told the story of be­ing a clos­eted gay man in a com­mit­ted re­la­tion­ship in the 1990s.

“I lost my part­ner of 17 years to AIDS,” he said. “And I had to go into work the next day be­cause I couldn’t tell any­one.”

Rich Pedroncelli / As­so­ci­ated Press Lea Suzuki / The Chron­i­cle

Gov. Jerry Brown signed the state bud­get that boosted the rainy-day fund and ed­u­ca­tion spend­ing. Tent dwellers would be given 24-hour evic­tion no­tices and a place to re­lo­cate un­der Su­per­vi­sor Mark Far­rell’s plan.

Lea Suzuki / The Chron­i­cle

An­gela Flax, who is home­less, packs her tent at the Di­vi­sion Street en­camp­ment in Fe­bru­ary with the help of friend Jeremy Young of Sacra­mento. In March, the city evicted peo­ple camp­ing on Di­vi­sion Street.

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