Commentary: Nancy Destefanis

Notes From a Progressive

As 2023 arrives, I would like to wish you a very happy and fruitful new year.

When I began this column in November, I pointed out that an additional progressive point of view was desperately needed in the Richmond Review/Sunset Beacon. I hope to add more light than shade to the issues that face all San Franciscans.

When folks say that the unhoused get too much attention, I like to point out that, for SF residents, this is a quality-of-life issue as well. No one likes to see folks camped out on the streets, mentally ill folks wandering around and children begging. San Franciscans want real solutions.

Beware of Gov. Newsom’s remedy for unhoused people who cannot take care of themselves in SF. Newsom recently signed into law a plan to address the problem of untreated serious mental illness called the Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment Act. Dr. Maria Raven, as the chief of emergency medicine at UCSF Medical Center, pointed out in an opinion column for the SF Chronicle, “Bringing people who are experiencing homelessness and unable to care for themselves to hospital emergency departments, where they can be involuntarily committed, has already been standard practice for years. It doesn’t work.”

If you want more affordable housing, be wary of developers and their friends who try to pull the wool over voters’ eyes.

Remember to “consider the source” when reading other media outlets. For example, the SF Examiner recently ran a story about SF Supervisor Dean Preston with his photo in a bullseye. (This happened after Paul Pelosi was assaulted in his home.) The Examiner – now owned by real estate mogul, Clint Reilly – gave a back-handed apology. Reilly has purchased the SF Examiner and SF Weekly and you can count on his papers delivering the Reilly/Grow San Francisco line: more development at all costs.

Around Town

Save the Castro Theatre! At the last minute, Another Planet Entertainment (APE) secured a continuance of the hearing at the Historic Preservation Committee to consider archiving the sloped floor and permanent seats at the 100-year-old Theater. APE wants to tear out the sloped floor and permanent seats so people can dance at their live concerts.

The hearing has been rescheduled for Feb. 1. Write a letter to the Committee and share the petition:

Worth a visit: La Promenade (Balboa Street at 38th Avenue) offers the coziest space for chai, espressos and sandwiches. The folks who work there are warm and welcoming. Also, nice, and warm inside.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

Nancy DeStefanis is a member of the Richmond District Democratic Club, has been politically active in the Richmond and Sunset districts for 28 years and in San Francisco for more than 40 years.

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