Coalition on Homelessness Calls for Closer Scrutiny of Proposition N
San Francisco 5/12/03. Proposition N was overturned in the
California Superior Court last week by Judge Ronald E. Quidachay, who
determined that the initiative should never have been put on the local
ballot because state law requires changes in county cash assistance
programs must be decided by the county Board of Supervisors.
According to Jennifer Friedenbach of the Coalition on Homelessness,
"Determining the economic rights of a discriminated minority by popular
vote is always dangerous. This election process was manipulated and voters
were misled through the proponent's shameless spending. State law ensures
that complex issues relating to public assistance are decided by elected
officials, who have access to comprehensive information - not just
The Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco, is now calling on City
Attorney Dennis Hererra not to appeal Judge Quidachay's decision, but
instead permit our Board of Supervisors to do its job.
Research by the Coalition on Homelessness shows the current
implementation plans for Prop N from the Dept. of Human Services and the
Mayor's Office, which are slated to go into effect 7/1/03, will create
serious displacement of non-welfare recipients from our already
overburdened shelter system. Homeless seniors, disabled people, and
immigrants will be displaced from emergency shelters to make room for
County Adult Assistance Program (CAAP) recipients, which is precisely what
the so-called "Care Not Cash" campaign promised would NOT happen.
The Coalition on Homelessness is also requesting that the San Francisco
Board of Supervisors create a Select Committee on Proposition N.
"We'd like to see that any proposed homeless reforms be heard in the
appropriate forum," said Paul Boden, COH-SF executive director. "It's our
sincere hope to ensure any changes in San Francisco's homeless policies
will be humane as well as effective, and crafted with input from all
stakeholders, especially homeless people and frontline staff in homeless