The November election
Yes on Proposition I
My wife and I voted “yes” on Proposition I.
True, basic economics suggests that limiting supply while demand remains the same or increases will raise prices. Regardless, Proposition I is a clarion call to San Francisco City Hall from those of us who are worried about gentrification causing the displacement of longtime residents of the Mission district.
It is time for the City and County of San Francisco to finally develop and implement a neighborhood stabilization plan to preserve and develop affordable housing in the Mission district as set forth in Section 2 of Proposition I. What else can we do to get City Hall to act?
If we don’t act soon, it will be too late. Do we really want a city where only the wealthy can afford to live?
Ralph E. Stone
Vote for Mandelkern
I urge your readers to vote for and support Dave Mandelkern for reelection to San Mateo County Community College District Board.
I’ve known Dave for 35 years and worked with him both in business and on public issues. For many years now, Dave has been providing the responsible leadership we need to make our three local community colleges (Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College) run as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Dave is engaged with the community and highly responsive and a proven problem-solver. Dave has made major contributions in directing and managing our community colleges. Whenever I have contacted him, I’ve gotten a response and results quickly. I know that we can count on Dave to make sure that our local community colleges provide the best educational programs and serve as many students as possible.
Please join me in voting for Dave Mandelkern for San Mateo County Community College District Trustee in our all-mail election which ends Nov. 3.
Half Moon Bay, CA
Renter stands with owners
I am a renter myself who benefits from the shield that is provided by tenant protections and as much as I praise the efforts to extend tenant rights, I believe some of those extensions are against the interest of our landlords.
Landlords should keep full control of their units and have a say in how many roommates are to be allowed.
Housing should not become dormitories and just because San Francisco allows more tenants per room than logic would say, we shouldn’t allow our housing supply to look like housing in other parts of the world were people are packed in and live on top of each other.
More tenants means more wear and tear and more liability for the owner. Who will pay when the owner faces destruction of their investment and extended liabilities? Also, landlords should be able to enforce house rules or the tenants will disregard the landlords’ rules and rights to protect the integrity of their investments and could extend liabilities and potentially hurt other tenants.
The fear of eviction should keep tenants in line. Not all landlords should be penalized because of a few. Tenants already have many protections even if they are in the wrong. Adding more layers may deter landlords from leaving their units on the rental market.
Mandated mental health program set to launch
Laura’s Law violates the right of due process
San Francisco has now enacted “Laura’s Law,” which provides for the involuntary confinement and forced psychiatric treatment of persons deemed to be a “danger to themselves of others” and aimed at getting the purportedly mentally ill off the streets.
On first thought, this proposal sounds perfectly logical and the public is unwittingly embracing it as another tool to fight crime and protect public safety. However this is an example of “the devil being in the details” and the devil is an over reaching attack on the right to substantive due process as prescribed in the fourth, fifth, and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
Legal scholars will also recognize that Laura’s Law is an enhanced form of “civil commitment” which is already an existing end run around the right of due process.
Civil commitment requires only a “preponderance of evidence”, not “proof beyond reasonable doubt” as provided by a jury trial. Furthermore anyone can make an anonymous (and often fraudulent or malicious) complaint with complete impunity from perjury.
The California penal code already provides the procedures for dealing with persons deemed a danger to society while at the same time protecting the rights of the accused. Nevertheless, in a civil commitment case, anyone purported to be mentally ill and a “danger to themselves or to society” (the literal equivalent of a criminal accusation), can be denied the benefit of a criminal trial.
If the government deems it necessary to use its police power to revoke a person’s liberty, it is irrelevant whether the cause is the due to a mental illness and there should be no difference in the legal process available to the accused.
With no requirement for a strict burden of proof, Laura’s Law is a police state approach reminiscent of the kangaroo court tactics used in Nazi Germany and the former Soviet Union.
The protections against unwarranted search and seizure have been severely eroded by the war on drugs, the war on terrorism, and with the recent round of shootings, the war on mental illness is yet another threat to our civil liberties.
Galen L. Dutch