The opponents of my bill quoted in your story ("Protecting the homeless raises locals' ire," Capitol Weekly, May 6) repeat the same old canards – that the bill will allow the homeless special privileges and allow them to “urinate in public places” or jeopardize public health.
On the contrary, the bill allows local governments to continue to cite people who are homeless if they block sidewalks, interfere with businesses or harass people on the street. It merely allows them to rest in public places. Tell me again why that should be a crime, when the only place they have to rest is in public? Remember they’re the ones without a private place to go to. Plus, the bill provides for hygiene centers – something that would be a boon to everyone.
Let’s stick to the facts and start to make a difference for our homeless and for our cities.
Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco
I appreciate the generous article by Jim Cameron but wanted to make one slight correction: The final quotation in the article was not mine, but taken from James Q. Wilson's excellent book: Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It.
As for Mort Saltzman's comment on my military skills when we were both at Fort Ord in the early 1960s --- call me for a full description of Mort lunging at a cloth practice dummy with a bayonet mounted on his rifle. The reaction of our Drill Instructor was classic!
In his recent opinion piece, “As police departments are cut, crime climbs” (Capitol Weekly, April 16), Kelly McMillin wrote that there was “an 11.3 percent increase in budgeted positions" at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation between 2011 and the end of the 2013-14 fiscal year, and he attributed that information to the Department of Finance.
In fact, if you go to the Finance website, you’ll find that the number of budgeted positions at CDCR fell by more than 5,000 during that period. The department had 64,932 budgeted positions in the 2011-12 fiscal year (http://2011-12.archives.ebudget.ca.gov/Enacted/StateAgencyBudgets/5210/agency.html) and is currently projected to have 59,736 positions in the 2013-14 fiscal year (http://2013-14.archives.ebudget.ca.gov/StateAgencyBudgets/5210/agency.html).
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation