A TRUE LEADER IN
THE STRUGGLE AGAINST THE HOMELESS
by Silicon Satan
As Americans unite under the wise leadership of George W. Bush to
fight the war on terrorism, it is time for San Franciscans to join
together in a crusade of our own against a foe equally bent on disrupting
our way of life. For while they hijack not jetliners, but shopping
carts, and are armed not with box cutters and bombs, but with paper
cups and cardboard placards, can there be any doubt that the homeless
are intent on holding our city hostage?
Of course, if we are to be successful in our struggle against this
unwashed enemy, we will have to rally behind a man who is as qualified
to lead our fair city as President Bush is to lead our great nation.
Which is why we must do all we can to ensure that Gavin Newsom becomes
the next mayor of San Francisco.
His track record as a supervisor clearly shows that he is a man of
principle, vision and compassion. Even in the darkest days of the
housing crisis, he never abandoned his belief in the rights of property
owners, tirelessly defending tenancies-in-common and the Ellis act.
For he understood that this crisis should not be seen through the
prism of class warfare, but rather as something which affected all
San Franciscans, rich and poor; and that eviction protections attempted
to solve one aspect of it, only by exacerbating another: the shortage
of luxury condominiums. How comforting it was back then to know that
there was someone in local government who truly felt the pain of the
citys neglected upper classesamong them, one friend of
mine who, while converting his triplex back to a single-family residence,
had to spend six months shivering in the fog in a rented oceanfront
house in Pacifica, because he was simply unable to find any executive-class
temporary accommodation in San Francisco.
Yet Supervisor Newsom is not some zealous ideologue who unquestioningly
supports the rights of property owners in every single instance. As
the holder of the mortgage on a $3 million house, he is well aware
that the right to own property is dependent on the fulfillment of
certain responsibilitiesand that this is no less the case even
if that property consists of nothing more than, say, a leaky tent,
a moldy sleeping bag, and a few greasy sweaters. And so, perhaps for
no other reason than because he feels it is his duty to hold his inferiors
to the same high standards of responsible property ownership to which
he himself adheres, he has been at the forefront of the campaign against
shopping-cart abuse, unafraid to see the homeless stripped of the
filthy rag piles, soda can collections, and other offensively pathetic
possessions which for all too longwith reckless disregard for
how this sad, smelly spectacle upsets the esthetic sensibilities of
their bettersthey have pushed around our citys sidewalks.
Of course, some of you will object that Mr. Newsom has led a sheltered
life and simply has no understanding of the poverty and deprivation
that cause the homeless to behave the way they do. Yet you might be
surprised to learn that the supervisoras he told the San Francisco
Sentinel in a recent interviewis not a creature of privilege,
but grew up in a family which had to make do on a mere $74,000 a year.
Now, while that might be considered a lot of money by some people,
it must have barely sufficed to keep gentlefolk like the Newsomswho,
after all, have to deal with club fees, caddy tips, prep school bills
and numerous other expenses beyond your comprehensionabove the
So those of you who have gone AWOL in the war on the homelesswho
would excuse their obnoxious, cart-trundling behavior on the grounds
that they have gotten a few tough breaks in lifeshould ask yourselves
this: despite the hardships he endured as a child, would you ever
find Supervisor Newsom pushing around a shopping cartexcept
perhaps on Wednesday nights in the Marina Safeway, before he met the
gorgeous Ms. Guilfoyle?