Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sup. Campos' Kumbaya Homelessness Agenda

For a Latino gay progressive lawyer who's been a City Hall fixture for more than 15 years, David Campos has not left a trail of signature accomplishments in wake as he's moved from being a deputy city attorney, member of the police commission, elected to the Board of Supervisors and the Democratic County Central Committee.

This week's Bay Times contains a vague and platitudinous Campos column about homeless that could have been printed last year or five years ago when an LGBT shelter was first broached. Let's unpack key paragraphs.

Campos: "Many of the problems faced by homeless friends and neighbors are particularly acute for LGBTQ homeless people. 40% of our homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. In a survey of shelters conducted by the Coalition on Homelessness, over 70% of transgender residents have experienced violence at our city’s shelters because of their gender identity. This situation is heartbreaking and utterly unacceptable."

MP: No specifics from Campos as to how he will contend with these statistics and the pain of the people behind them.
(Site of the long aborning LGBT shelter in the Mission District. Credit: Rick Gerharter.)

Campos: "My office is working with community leaders on multiple fronts to address these ongoing issues in 2015. We are continuing to fight for more resources for organizations that serve the homeless population through the City’s budget process. We are working with Dolores Street Community Services to open a groundbreaking LGBTQ-focused shelter. This unique project will fill a vital need, and stand as the nation’s first and only LGBTQ adult shelter."

MP: Not a damn specific, measurable action item from the Campos office. When exactly will he present the community with weekly updates about specific steps he's taken with each city agency and community leader? Considering he hasn't been able to keep his promise to open the Tamale Lady's cafe on 16th Street, we can't count on Campos to deliver on opening that shelter in his district this year or before he's termed out of office.

Campos: "Concurrently, we are also working with City departments to identify spaces in our dense urban fabric that can accommodate short-term and long-term affordable housing and shelter spaces. Together, we are moving forward to implement these housing solutions within District 9 and in the City as a whole."

MP: More kumbaya verbiage illustrating just how hollow the Campos homelessness agenda really is.

Campos: "This work is essential as we determine San Francisco’s direction as a city. 2015 is a critical point where we all must ask ourselves: Will we allow San Francisco to become a luxury for those who can pay, or will it continue to be a home for all of the people who make this great city what it is?"

MP: Practically all of my friend and neighbors who were displaced in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, asked that question before moving to the East Bay or elsewhere. This was Campos' campaign theme and just like he did as a candidate in the past year, he continues to lack comprehensive answers.

As 2015 starts, I find no reason to expect Campos to change from being a mediocre career politician and evolve into a fierce fighter who delivers measurable results.

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