Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, framed Assembly Bill 5 as an attempt to create a statewide baseline of homeless civil rights, citing a proliferation of municipal ordinances cracking down on behavior like lying or sleeping on the sidewalk as examples of the “criminalization of poor people.”
“Today numerous laws infringe on poor peoples’ ability to exist in public space, to acquire housing, employment and basic services and to equal protection under the laws,” Ammiano said at a Tuesday morning hearing.
Ammiano’s legislation faced a backlash from critics who said the bill would sanction behavior like urinating in public while exposing businesses to new litigation, undercutting the will of voters who had passed local ordinances and handcuffing city-level efforts to deal with homelessness. The California Chamber of Commerce included AB 5 on its annual list of “job killers” because it imposes “costly and unreasonable mandates on employers.”
Those wise fools should be forced for a month to walk the streets and parks of SF and ride Muni & BART: hurdling sleeping bums; dancing around urine puddles and @#$% piles; shielding “significant others” or being shielded by same when accosted by aggressive panhandlers and miscellaneous leering creeps; stepping over bums sleeping in business doorways; enjoying the fragrant aroma of the bum seated in adjacent Muni bus or BART train (“Did you enjoy your Cable Car ride? It’s the NEW San Francisco treat!”); try to use BART elevators that are intermittently jammed with human urine and @#$%! And Tom Ammiano, being an SF resident and former SF County Stuporvisor, should be doing that his entire waking hours, 7 X 52, until reality penetrates his pointed little head!