A Homeless Bill of Rights?
Not sure what to make of this. The San Francisco Chronicle reports Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has introduced AB5 which targets local ordinances against homeless folks. Here's what Ammiano sees as homeless "rights":
-- Sleeping in public spaces such as sidewalks and parks
-- 24/7 access to bathrooms, showers, water and clean syringes.
-- Car camping on city streets without restrictions
-- "Life sustaining activities" such as urinating and collecting recycling trash
-- Welfare cash payments
-- Meditating or praying in public
-- Payment for possessions seized in a roust
-- Right to refuse the offer of a homeless shelter
-- Right to a lawyer in most encounters with the law
I've probably been as supportive of homeless "rights" more than most. I strongly opposed Arcata's anti- panhandling ordinance, for example, but I don't know that it's fair to anyone to override local ordinances to this extent.
I'm not sure what the answer is to vagrancy problems, if there even is one. Leaving things as they are and letting it work out at the local level is probably better than passing this law.