By now you’re all probably familiar with Proposition L (no, not glee), also known as Sit/Lie, which will be on the Nov 2 ballot. If passed, it would make it a misdemeanor for people (after a warning) to sit or lie down on public sidewalks between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. As explained here by Melissa Griffin, the law contains exceptions for people legitimately in wheelchairs, parade onlookers and other folks who might need to occupy a sidewalk for a short period of time. It does not apply to parks, benches or private property.
As you can imagine, this is a very controversial proposition everywhere in the city, and in particular in the Tenderloin. Lately I’ve seen many businesses or offices in the neighborhood harboring signs with the message ‘Sidewalks are for the people‘. And apparently tomorrow opponents of this proposed law have announced a plan to take to the streets and sell lemonade.
Of all the demonstrations seen lately against Prop L, I think my favorite has to be this mediation session held by blog of the Faithful Fools Street Ministry in front of their building on Hyde at Turk two weeks ago.
For many San Franciscans, deciding how to vote on this is not easy. Mainly because it seems to me that both the people in favor and against the proposition have the same goal at heart: to be able to enjoy again the city’s sidewalks, without fear or harassment. Ultimately, if it passes, it will probably have little worth as it will just create a new advocate group to work with those who have been wrongfully de-seated.