ECLECTIC RANT: San Francisco Should Opt-in to the SB-1045 Conservatorship Pilot Program

By Ralph E. Stone : berkeleyplanet – excerpt

On September 27, 2018,California Governor Jerry Brown approved Senate Bill-1045 , which creates a five-year pilot program for San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego Counties for a conservatorship program in the Welfare and Institutions Code.

Current conservatorship, the two sections of the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act and probate section provide a procedure to appoint a conservator for people who are “gravely disabled” as result of a serious mental health disorder or an impairment by chronic alcoholism.

SB-1045 expands the scope of conservatorships to allow housing with wraparound services to the most vulnerable Californians living on the streets. In order to be considered for conservatorship under SB-1045, an individual must be chronically homeless, suffering from serious mental illness and substance use disorder such that those co-occurring conditions have resulted in that individual frequently visiting the emergency room, being frequently detained by police under a Section 5150, or frequently held for psychiatric evaluation and treatment. In short, SB-1045’s aim is to make it easier to help troubled homeless deemed too impaired to care for themselves..(more)


Homeless San Diegans Lead National Fight of Vehicle-Camping Laws

: courthousenews – excerpt

SAN DIEGO (CN) – Homeless San Diegans living in RVs and cars have successfully challenged local laws outlawing vehicle habitation, with a judge ordering the city to cease ticketing and toss out hundreds of outstanding tickets. If they win their case – or a favorable settlement – their efforts could be emulated around the country.

This past fall, San Diegans living in RVs and vehicles kicked off their lawsuit with a rally in the city’s historic Balboa Park, singing and chanting while waving hand-painted signs which read “Stop the tickets.”

Represented by Disability Rights California, the plaintiffs in the case have disabilities and say living in their vehicles is the safest option for them absent affordable housing.

San Diego had just weathered a Hepatitis A outbreak that left 20 people dead and over 400 hospitalized. The public health crisis mostly impacted the city’s unsheltered population and its spread was compounded by the lack of public restrooms for those living on San Diego streets. The situation forced the city to sanitize downtown streets with a bleach solution and install portable toilets and hand washing stations… (more)

Grass roots opposition to SB 828 and AB 2923 mounts

By Richard Eber : capoliticalreview.- excerpt

Opposition within the legislature has been minimal in passing various bills intended to streamline the permit process to build so called affordable housing. However, not all the natives are pleased. Battle lines are being drawn in suburbia to fight “Big Brother” in Sacramento when they will be trying to enforce SB 828 and AB 2923 in the coming years.

It comes down to a case of “It’s not fair” that ordinarily refers to children complaining about their parents making them perform disagreeable tasks. Here it is reflected in a grass root political movement of outraged citizens fighting progressive government in Sacramento.

With the ink barely dry from Governor Jerry Brown signing SB 828 and AB 2923 into law, a similar out cry of protests is coming from communities throughout California. A lot of folks are upset by state taking urban planning decisions away from locals and giving them to unaccountable bureaucratic regional agencies they don’t directly vote for.

The purpose of these bills is to encourage the construction of much needed affordable housing by ignoring local zoning laws and streamlining the permit process. An outcry is being heard from cities who are unhappy with the impact these new construction will have on traffic, law enforcement, congestion, schools, recreational facilities and the availability of scare water resources… (more)

San Francisco Seeks To Implement Recently Signed Conservatorship Bill

CBSLocal – excerpt (includes video)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last week will allow for San Francisco to create new conservatorship programs for severely mentally ill people to get them off city streets and into treatment.

Thursday, Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and Assemblymember David Chiu, D-San Francisco, joined Mayor London Breed to discuss the next steps in implementing Senate Bill 1045, which aims to provide housing and services for individuals who can’t care for themselves.

“This bill is a significant step forward in taking a new approach to the epidemics of mental illness and severe drug addiction that we see playing out in our streets every day and not just in San Francisco, but in cities throughout this state,” Wiener said. “It is not progressive or compassionate to just sit by while people unravel and ultimately die on our streets.”… (more)

S.F. Supervisors Water Down Controversial Rent Control Resolution

By Nuala Sawyer : sfweekly – excerpt

Supervisors Ahsha Safai and Katy Tang amended the resolution expressing support for Prop. 10, eliminating rent-control for single-family homes and new units.

It’s been 20 days since the Board of Supervisors spent a painful 49 minutes debating the pros and cons of Proposition 10, a state ballot measure that would repeal the decades-old Costa-Hawkins. Under Costa-Hawkins, local jurisdictions are blocked from creating their own rent-control laws; in San Francisco, that means there’s currently no way to move our rent-control date forward from 1979, to create vacancy control, or to provide housing relief for spouses of leaseholders who’ve passed away.

It’s in the hands of voters this November, but a symbolic resolution to express San Francisco’s support of Prop. 10 was last put forth to the Board of Supervisors by Supervisor Aaron Peskin… Supervisors Katy Tang and Ahsha Safai both sit on that committee and voted not to support Prop. 10 earlier this month…

But today they changed their mind… sort of. They both voted that they would support the resolution, but only if amendments were made guaranteeing that if Costa-Hawkins were repealed single-family homes would be exempt from rent control, and new units could only be rent controlled pending an economic assessment…(more)

More small property owners may support the repeal if they trust the Board of Suprvisors but, it may be too late to save Prop 10 in the November ballot given all the money being spent against it.

Let’s keep in mind that :”Prop. 10 itself doesn’t do anything other than give local governments the right to design their own rent control measures.” The Board should probably wait till after the election to see who the voters put in office next and whether or not San Francisco voters approve the repeal.


Mayor prepared to compel treatment for frequently detained homeless

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

Mayor London Breed on Thursday vowed to introduce legislation creating a conservatorship program to compel homeless people suffering from mental illness and addiction to undergo treatment after a law allowing the expansion of conservatorship laws was signed into law.

Senate Bill 1045, introduced by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), permits San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego Counties to expand conservatorship programs, which can allow a judge to order someone to undergo treatment, including in locked facilities. The law raises questions about the balance between medical care and personal liberties, but also about the strategies The City is using to address the homeless issue…

“Conservatorship needs to be considered carefully and individually, not as a strategy to deal with homelessness,” Lehman said in an email to the San Francisco Examiner. “This has become a political issue about seeing homeless people with mental health disabilities on the streets, and it relies on the false narrative that they choose not to get services.”…


Guest opinion: ‘Local control’ isn’t perfect, but it’s better for everyone than unelected regional bureaucracies

By Susan Kirsch : bizjournals – excerpt


Artist view of dense housing creeping into single family neighborhoods.

The Business Times recently put forward the view that “‘Local control’ of housing is the problem, not the solution” (Viewpoint section, Aug. 31 print edition).

It also reported that Livable California is forming coalitions with like-minded elected city officials and community leaders in neighborhood, homeowner, renter and social justice organizations across the state. The goal that brings us together is to strengthen local control, integrated with regional collaboration and partnerships, as the answer to housing solutions and long-term, sustainable communities.

Local control isn’t perfect, but among everyday people, it is preferable to top-down state mandates. It has a greater capacity to shape solutions than the stymied one-size-fits-all approach currently advocated by big business and Sacramento…

The crisis we face is the systematic effort to dismantle local control and replace it with unelected, regional bureaucracies.

The crisis is the rush to pass more draconian legislation, like the dozen or so housing bills passed in 2018, piled on top of the 14 housing bills passed in 2017, which Berkeley researchers warn have unpredictable outcomes.

The crisis is believing the mantra “we have to do something,” justifies legislation that benefits a few, while jeopardizing the majority.

The crisis is legislation that increases the financial burden on cities without calling it what it is — an unfunded mandate.

The crisis is the threat to demo- cracy… (more)