A recent public records request to Mayor Ed Lee regarding the Coalition on Homelessness produced several emails showing the group's executive director, Jennifer Friedenbach, is the gatekeeper for community representation at monthly meetings with Lee's chief of staff, Steve Kawa.
There is no evidence that any actual homeless persons are invited to nor attend these monthly City Hall sessions determining homeless policies and that Friedenbach controls high-level access to the mayor and his aides.
"I don't believe so. Some formerly homeless staff people of the COH, but I could be wrong. Jennifer would know."
Says a lot about where we are in dealing with homeless individuals on the streets. They don't have a seat at the City Hall table when Kawa, Dodge and Friedenbach meet and determine actions and priorities.
Dodge should be able to state clearly, "Yes, we have homeless folks at the table. No need for me to pass the buck to anyone else."
As I've said in the past, Friedenbach, the leader of Homeless Inc and positioned as a progressive organizer, can meet with whomever she chooses at City Hall, but she has a duty to regularly report back to the public about her engagement with Kawa.
Would be wise of her to also start getting homeless folks into those Kawa chats.