Mark Leno, after running for mayor for approximately 65 years, finally has an opinion on something. Homelessness is bad and it’s London Breed’s fault.
Which is definitely an incredibly valid thing to say. It definitely true that the current state of homelessness in SF is the fault of a black woman who’s been in office for 6 years and definitely has nothing to do with the policies promoted (and issues ignored by) a man who’s been in office since I was 9 years old (which is considerably more than 6 years).
And it definitely makes sense to blame London Breed even though basically every shot from that ad takes place in district represented by Jane Kim (8 years in office) his other opponent and the person he thinks should get your #2 vote.
Good thing he released his very innovative and not at all plagiarized homeless plan (March 21, 2018) three days after Breed’s plan (March 19, 2018) while somehow managing to basically copy all of her policy proposals.
Note: Some faithful readers are pointing out that Mark Leno first tried to release his plan on March 18 — which is when he held his first press conference on the topic. The problem? The actual PDF of the plan wouldn’t open. Sorry, but that’s the “dog ate my homework” of policy proposals. This isn’t Schrodinger’s policy. It doesn’t exist until I (and everyone else) can get my hands on it.
Let’s compare Leno’s totally unique approach to homelessness with Breed’s obviously totally inferior plan that was released three days earlier. Leno has 15 major points to his homeless plan. Let’s walk through each of them to see how they represent Leno’s completely unique and superior plan for dealing with homelessness:
Leno Point 1: Immediately move at least 1,000 people off the streets and into permanent supportive housing.
Breed: Her platform doesn’t mention this point, probably because there’s a dispute over whether these empty units even exist.
Leno Point 2: Reform our homeless shelter system to increase capacity and improve rates of re-housing. His only specific elements to this point are Navigation Centers (Point 3) and improving “wraparound services” (Point 11)
Breed: Build more navigation centers; also leverage Assemblymember Phil Ting’s legislation AB 932 to expedite construction of homeless shelters and AB 857 to secure state lands at virtually no cost.
Leno Point 3: Move as many people as possible off the streets by quickly expanding our navigation center system.
Breed: Build more Navigation Centers, which have more services and fewer restrictions than typical shelters;
Leno Point 4: Take advantage of our Small Site Acquisition program to move more people from the street and into housing
Breed: Acquire more properties via our Small Sites Acquisition Program
Leno Point 5: Bring all families and children in off the streets. This is just saying that he thinks children and families should get priority in the shelters, supportive housing, and navigation centers.
Breed: [citing the high proportion of homeless youth who are LGBTQ] Build an LGBTQ youth services shelter, create host-home subsidized housing for LGBTQ youth.
Leno Point 6: Establish a Mental Health Justice Center to stop recycling homeless people in and out of jail.
Breed: Pass my conservatorship legislation so courts can appoint guardians for the mentally ill, open safe injection facilities, expand the street medicine teams,
Leno Point 7: Create Universal Mental Health Care for all. This sounds great, but is mostly about adding psychiatric beds to the city’s hospitals.
Breed: She doesn’t mention psychiatric beds.
Leno Point 8: Create 15,000 units of affordable, workforce, and permanent supportive housing to move people off our streets and under a permanent roof. How? Where? With what money? Your guess is as good as mine.
Breed: Build 5,000 more housing units each year; Create a supportive In-Law Unit/Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) program where the City pays for the construction of ADU units (such as these) and manages the permitting process, in exchange for the property owner making the unit permanently available as affordable housing to “Moving On” tenants; Expand, the Homeward Bound program; Lease apartments, buildings, and SROs to expand “step up housing” for folks with vouchers; Lease or buy underutilized buildings to operate as supportive housing under the Master Lease program.
Leno Point 9: Protect at-risk tenants to keep people in their home. He mentions suing people who abuse the Ellis Act to evict tenants, providing rental assistance and Right to Counsel for those facing eviction.
Breed: Pass my Right to Counsel Law, expand rental subsidy programs, continue the Rental Assistance Demonstration program to rehab public housing, extend affordability covenants on units for which the covenant will expire, expand the Good Samaritan Law to protect victims displaced by earthquake or fire, regulate short-term rentals, protect existing housing stock by retrofitting seismically unsafe buildings.
Leno Point 10: Create new tools to hold city government accountable to meeting district-specific criteria and benchmarks
Breed: Implement and improve our unified data system to ensure various agencies and nonprofits serving homeless people are accurately tracking their history and needs and allocating resources appropriately.
Leno Point 11: Fix our broken system of supportive services. This involves securing General Assistance and food stamps for more of the homeless population.
Breed: She doesn’t specifically mention General Assistance or food stamps.
Leno Point 12: Do a top-to-bottom audit of homeless dollars to stop and prevent waste.
Breed: Get more out of each homeless dollar we spend by launching audits and potentially implementing pay for performance contracts
Leno Point 13: Pass a comprehensive regional housing and homelessness bond measure
Breed: Write and pass a $50 million General Obligation bond to build modular homes for homeless people; invest in our affordable housing stock via measures like our $310 million housing bond; pass our Housing For All ballot measure this June to generate $1 billion.
Leno Point 14: Make use of the $100 million dollars I secured as State Senator to create 400 units of permanent supportive housing. This references Prop 63, passed in 2004 which provided funding for homeless services.
Breed: She doesn’t mention this source of funding. However, the San Jose Mercury News says that a recent audit revealed SF only has $22M available.
Leno Point 15: Leverage statewide connections to fund homeless resources
Breed: Advocate with other mayors, state, and federal officials for more homelessness and supportive housing funds
So there you have it — Mark and London’s homelessness plans side-by-side. It’s one thing for a man who held public office for 22 years to blame homelessness on a woman whose been in office for 6 years. It’s another thing to do that AND basically copy her homelessness plan which you released three days after she did.