It’s simple. Public sidewalks are too crowded for homeless people, but wide enough for waddling robots and monolithic, data-sucking electronic sidewalk billboards with 65-inch screens. Public sidewalks are dangerously over-filled with backpacks and bedrolls but have a sad aura of being deserted without unpermitted signboards, tables, chairs, and rolling racks of commercial merchandise.
People’s Park is a landmark. The university doesn’t like to mention it, but it became a city landmark in 1984 “for its historic and cultural importance to the City of Berkeley.” The landmark designation is not necessarily protective, but it’s worth noting in a community being trained to ignore its own significant moments in history.
In the eyes of sixteen-year-old Hunter McLaughlin*, “coming out” would be a gateway to a new life. It would give him the opportunity to live more honestly and with a renewed sense of authenticity to his true self. But when he told his parents that he was transgender, the “new life” that awaited him was one plagued by emotional abuse, threats of violence, and seemingly endless conflict.
On September 4, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that cities may not punish homeless people for sleeping outside in public spaces if they do not have access to shelter elsewhere. The case—Martin v. Boise—started way back in 2009, when six current and formerly homeless residents of Boise, Idaho sued the city for giving citations to people who were sleeping outside. The lawsuit rested on the notion that these citations violated the Eighth Amendment rights of Boise’s homeless residents, amounting to cruel and unusual punishment.
Dr. Phil, the affable problem-solving TV host, has a catch phrase he uses when defensive participants exhaust themselves telling him and the TV audience why they do things the way they do. He listens patiently. And then he says, “How’s that working for you?”
Assembly Bill 186 would have provided safe injection sites for the intravenous drug-using population of San Francisco. It began its uphill battle three years ago. After years of trial and error, the bill finally passed the State Assembly and Senate in August, this time allowing just San Francisco to run three pilot safe injection sites for a trial period of three years.
In his essay titled, “San Francisco, You’ll Miss Your Tech Bros If They Flee,” Bloomberg Opinion columnist Noah Smith writes that the tech bubble is a victim of outsiders’ antipathy towards them. The essay suggests that it is more important that San Francisco retain its tech bubble than its longtime and native residents.