In a development that should please the majority of San Franciscans who believe the city is headed in the wrong direction, Supervisor David Campos's bill declaring the existence of a shelter crisis was yesterday voted out of subcommittee with a veto-proof majority of eight Supervisors. Mayor Ed Lee has previously come out in opposition to the proposed declaration, calling it mere "rhetoric." However, with the support of seven other members of the Board of Supervisors, Mission Local reports that the declaration and some companion legislation for building new shelters may soon become a reality.
Supervisor Campos confirmed to SFist that he was joined by Supervisors Kim, Avalos, Mar, Yee, Breed, Cohen, and Peskin in voting the bill out of the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee. This is a win for the Supervisor, who just a few weeks ago lacked the support of Supervisor Cohen — thus depriving him (at the time) of the eight-vote veto-proof majority.
“I want you to know that I have heard you,” Mission Local reports Campos as telling a crowd yesterday at City Hall. “The issue of homelessness here in San Francisco has reached a crisis level.”
If passed by the full board, the declaration will designate the need for homeless shelters in San Francisco as akin to a shelter crisis in a natural disaster — allowing the city to seek federal assistance and move more quickly in allocating public land for homeless navigation centers. Oakland and Los Angeles have taken similar steps, and Campos introduced companion legislation, also approved at the committee meeting, that would require the city to build six new Navigation Centers in the next year, three within the next four months. (As we learned this week, Mayor Lee has already moved to create one in the Civic Center Hotel at 12th and Market, to open in two months.)
According to KTVU, the committee approved one amendment, introduced by Supervisor Norman Yee, to the proposed legislation. Specifically, the channel reports, the amendment "[clarified] that the legislation was not intended to override city policies around public outreach or planning processes around selecting locations for shelters." In other words: Don't freak, NIMBYs, no one is going to drop a homeless navigation center right on top of you without consulting first.
The measure, notes Mission Local, is expected to go to the full board for vote next week.