Stories hit the airwaves this month of large stores closing their doors in San Francisco because its not a safe place to do business.
Some big names closing down, perhaps the biggest being Whole Foods. The closure was due to high theft as well as a lot of nearby drug dealing that likely undermined the shopping experience. (1)
In the last ten years the Bay Area has lot a lot of businesses due to break ins and theft (2)
One of the reoccurring themes I talk about is how badly Humboldt County handles the homeless, and typically the strategies our area uses are erilly similar to San Francisco, and It's not working out very well. If you need proof, tomorrow morning just jump in your car or take the Bus to D and 4th street, and walk over to the corner of 2nd and A Streets! The morning tents you will see are the homeless that will at least accept services from our local groups that are trying to help. If you venture to other places you'll find more hardened camps that are here to stay, like in the greenbelt near Bayshore mall.
Over the years I've talked about it till blue in the face. I've argued Why the housing first model doesn't work and why its crucial to enforce camping laws. Instead local policy has gone hard left and the results of the enablement speak for themselves.
Now, there are attempts in Sacramento to try and enforce a little bit of clarity and sanity to local homeless policy. While I prefer local control and problem solving, I think we've had long enough to do this ourselves.
California Senate Bill 31, which would make it illegal to sit, lie or sleep within 1,000 feet of a school, daycare, park or library. This would be a great start, and if such a law could get passed in Sacramento, it would force our local government to at least take a first step toward cleaner streets and a better humanitarian strategy. As of right now the bill has more Republicans supporting it than democrats, and in California nothing like this will pass until more democrats cross the aisle and do the right thing.
There is also Assembly Bill 257, making it illegal to camp within 500 feet of a school or daycare center, however this also was voted down in committee. There is still a chance that this bill could gain support, but it sort of depends if California legislators are willing to admit that past efforts have completely failed. (3)
Again, I'm not a big fan of top-down orders from Sacramento, but maybe this time we need to be pushed from a different course than that of San Francisco.....