Politics and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors

While you were out there working hard for a living, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors was meeting also. In case you missed it, or simply could not believe it, I present to you a list of the more unusual things the Board of Supervisors has done and not done lately.

On April 7, 2010, the Supervisors approved a measure to declare every Monday “Vegetarian Day.” Not really sure about the point of this; but there you have it. Perhaps they mean only vegetarians should enter the city on Monday. The idea behind this is to decrease obesity by suggesting people take a day to eat without meat. The supervisors are especially interested in decreasing childhood obesity. Of course, this proclamation has not bearing on the school district whatsoever, since they are controlled by the school board. Maybe they mean only vegetarian restaurants should be open on Mondays. Notice, they did not distinguish between vegetarians who eat dairy and those that don’t; they also didn’t include a day for those that eat only raw foods. Things for the board to do in the future….

A San Franciscan wanted to have the Supervisors ban the sale of puppies and kittens from animal mills in the city. He probably went overboard with his demand that all sales of dogs and cats in the city be banned. When research was done into this subject, just about every animal group had an animal to add to the list. The list grew to include a ban on the sales of dogs, cats, birds, mice, hamsters, rats, mice, assorted reptiles; any small animal but fish. The pet stores complained loudly, including the one that actually sells dogs and cats. Even more so, the owners of said pets complained loudly. It seems that San Francisco already bans the sale of bunnies and chicks. What about those folks who already owned the dreaded cat, dog or small animal? Did they and their animals have to leave the city? What about someone moving to the city? Did they have to give up their animal or simply prove their pet was not from a puppy mill? How does one do that? Should those people who take care of their pets pay the price for those who don’t? Then, there was the problem of folks who might buy their pet from another city and brought them home. Would anyone heed the law? Would they be creating a market for illegal pet papers? Would citizens of San Francisco be paying outrageous prices for their pets? After many hours of argument and meetings, the supervisors have tabled this law for now. It has become clear, even to the supervisors that many aspects of this law need to be thought out.

The San Francisco Supervisors were one of the first cities to pass a law condemning the immigration laws in Arizona. San Francisco is one of those cities that does not turn in illegal aliens. Of course, the new DA in San Francisco wants to start returning those convicted of crime to save money, and of course there is the protect citizens thing. So, to be first on the spot I guess, the San Francisco Supervisors passed a non-binding boycott law. The Supervisors didn’t want the boycott enforced if it was going to create a problem. That’s putting their teeth behind their beliefs. I think the problem is the Supervisors don’t understand the purpose of a boycott. San Francisco is still a sanctuary city.

In December of 2009, one of the San Francisco Supervisors declared he would use the “F” word at every supervisors’ meeting in 2010. This Supervisor had been criticized for swearing at several meetings. Fortunately, this supervisor came to his senses eventually, and has not used the “F” word at every meeting this year. He also has left office. But, as someone pointed out, he could swear from the audience.

San Francisco has a Supervisor who is wheelchair bound. This is a problem, because in the wheelchair she cannot access the platform where the President of the Supervisors sits during the meetings. She can access the rest of the seats, but not the Presidential seat, which is up on a raised platform, kind of like a throne. Since this area is not accessible to this supervisor or anyone else who is handicapped, the supervisor asked for this to be fixed. Now why they can’t just lay down a couple of boards to ease the transition here I don’t know, but they are looking at a permanent solution. Except the permanent solution requires major remodeling of the chamber at a cost of over one million dollars. You read that right, one million dollars. Even in these tight times, the board had voted money to fix the chamber. One supervisor came to his senses and blocked this move, saying that the million dollars should be spent on other programs that would benefit more of San Francisco’s citizens. Meantime, the handicapped supervisor, who, has just been declared eligible to run for another term, is threatening to sue the city over this. This is causing the Supervisors to rethink the thing. Again.

So there you have it. A bite size look in the politics of San Francisco. And then there is the soon to be ex-mayor’s plan to banish the homeless by not letting them sit down…. It goes on and on in San Francisco.

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