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If we ever needed indisputable proof as to why poor people’s survival needs should never be ballot measures, Proposition N has supplied it. By the time we cast our votes on November 5th, Gavin Newsom and company will spend over $900,000!

A review of financial disclosure forms as of 10/19/02 confirms that three quarters of all money raised by the so-called “Care Not Cash” campaign will come from business and development related interests:

$200,000 from those “caring” folks at the Committee on Jobs; $24,360 from the Building Owners and Managers Association; $10,000 from the Greater San Francisco Association of Realtors; $10,000 from the CEO of Skyy Vodka; $10,000 from PG&E Corp.; $5000 each from such “caring” groups as the SF Apartment Association PAC, Pacific Heights Towers, Nibbi Bros. Construction, Webcor Builders and Potrero Center LP. Not to forget Western Exhibitors LLC’s $25,000, Young’s Market Company’s $5000, or Gavin Newsom’s own PlumpJack Management Group’s $4000, which only added to the $16,478 from the Golden Gate Restaurant Association PAC.

The list goes on to read more like directory of downtown hotel, restaurant and real estate interests, rather than of people and organizations with any track record of caring about the lives of the poor.

And who are the “uncaring” ones who oppose Proposition N? St. Anthony’s Foundation, the Mental Health Association, Senior Action Network, The Service Provider’s Coalition, SEIU Locals 790 (health workers), 250 (city employees), 535 (social workers), Local 2 (hotel & restaurant workers), the United Educators and the California Nurses Association; along with over 40 direct services organizations, over ten locally elected officials, the SF Democratic Party Central Committee, the Green Party, the SF Methodist Federation, First Unitarian Universalist Society, Religious Witness with Homeless People… the list goes on and on.

The SEIU’s gave $15,000; the California Nurse’s Association $5000; two state elected officeholders combined for $20,000; San Francisco Food Not Bombs scraped together $1000; and three former Dept. of Human Services Directors and several current DHS threw in for $700. Then there’s page after page of individuals contributing $100, $50, $20, $10 – whatever they could afford.

The people and organizations with a proven track record of supporting housing, healthcare, education and jobs for poor people — poor people who are suffering under the abandonment of our state and federal government — have been smeared by a $700,000 public relations campaign orchestrated by Storefront Media (which received over a quarter-million dollars) along with Jack Davis, and on behalf of the richest people and businesses in our City.

This is all for the purpose of taking survival money away from homeless people receiving minimal cash assistance; all for the purpose of making life so incredibly miserable for poor people that we’ll leave, disappear, cease to exist. All for the purpose of Prop. N’s supporters making more money, to build more hotels, to open more fancy restaurants, to make more money, to build more condos…

They really DO care… about themselves. But what will ultimately defeat them is we also really care… about each other.


Author: Street Sheet Editor

The STREET SHEET is the oldest continuously published street news paper in the United States. Organizationally, it is the public education and outreach tool of the Coalition on Homelessness. Every month, the STREET SHEET reaches 32,000 readers through over 200 homeless or low-income vendors. Our vendors are charged nothing for the papers they receive, and keep all money they earn through STREET SHEET distribution.

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