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News + PoliticsOpinionOpinion: Prop. 1 and Prop. F are just more attacks on poor...

Opinion: Prop. 1 and Prop. F are just more attacks on poor people

These are not solutions. They are just ways to make life on the streets even more unpleasant.

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OWWW, OWWWWWWWW, OWWWW, OWWWW, OWWWW, OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.”

Bobby, a houseless neuro-divergent relative had been screaming in two- second intervals from the bed he was forced to lie on in in the nursing home for the last several hours. Picked up and place on a 5150 hold in Alameda, he was supposedly being “treated” rather than incarcerated.

“They took my tent. I was in a silent meditation. Now I just want to get out of here, I’m not safe here, please let me out,” Bobby told me calmly in a rare break from his OWWW. “I mind my own business outside, I just need to be free, like you, like any human.” He turned his head toward the wall and stopped talking and resumed crying. 

Bobby’s nightmare will get frighteningly worse with the upcoming statewide Proposition 1. 

General Dogon talks about the sweeps in Los Angeles

Which is why I need to drop some povertyskolaz knowledge on some of the ballot initiatives that will mess us poor folks up even more than we already are. They are loaded with and cloaked in so much double-speak you may not be able to untangle the truth from the BS.

So I’m gonna focus on Prop 1 (Statewide) and Prop F in SF (for F-U poor people with substance use struggles).  And to all my fellow houseless/po’ povertyskolaz- please vote on March 5—your vote matters for local and state issues, no matter what you think about the rest.

Propaganda: Proposition 1 – Treatment not Tents – will refocus billions of dollars in existing funds to prioritize Californians with the deepest mental health needs, living in encampments, or suffering the worst substance use issues.

FACTS: Prop. 1 will codify forced treatment of houseless peoples bodies. Prop. 1 will support the arrests and seizure of tents, belongings, and medicine of houseless peoples bodies and communities. 

Prop 1 Would impose a new $6.4 billion bond to primarily fund forced treatment and institutionalization, so if we refuse their “shelter beds” we end up incarcerated. Finally, Prop 1 will divert money from beautiful education, art, afterschool and support services for poor youth and elders that keep us poor people frombecoming isolated, abused and/or depressed, which often leads to our homelessness.

Notwithstanding the ironic Prop. 1 tagline Treatment Not Tents, the folks behind this are already violently and endlessly sweeping us houseless humans like we are trash all over California and the US. 

“Newsom is pimping the Care Court, Prop 1 doesn’t increase treatment at all, it funds the beds he said already existed in Care Courts,” one of my povertyskola mentors and truth-teller Paul Boden said. 

Newsom’s politricks on the backs of the poor are sadly nothing new. He literally became San Francisco’s mayor by pimping houseless peoples struggles, causing this povertyskola to lose my measly cash crumb that helped keep me my mama and my sun housed with the infamous Care N Cash, which he created. Care Not Cash demanded that poor people pay for their “shelter beds” instead of receiving the little bit of money we were getting for toiletries, medicine, etc.  

Care courts were another Newsom plan, adding an additional layer of allegedly more user-friendly court systems directed at poor people, which haven’t led to more treatment or beds, but instead have funneled a lot more money to social workers, judges, non-profiteers and the injustice system. 

The sick, sad part is every settler town in Occupied Turtle Island has multiple laws and codes on the books, new and as old as the pauper and ugly laws, that adjudicate our lives when we are outside.

In a recent RoofLessradio interview I did with comrade General Dogon from LA Community Action Network in Tongva (LA) he broke down the insanity of LA’s new Tent-taking law 41:18.

“Under 41:18 this mayor doesn’t let you set up a tent in LA, so what happens? you just have people sleeping without any blankets or covers and protection right out on the street,” said General Dogon, LA Community Action Network.

“Prop 1 is just the next block in the structure that they have been building to force people into internment out of sight out of mind where they can continue to collect money off the backs of the poor,” said said warrior sister Crystal Rose Sanchez, of the Sacramento Homeless Union. “Like Care Court, conservatorship, and now Prop. 1, none of these  provide the true resourcing and real-time housing that is needed.”

There are thousands of us on the street who are desperately trying to get inside, but there is no place we can afford or be accepted because of multiple hoops, credit checks, wait-lists, gatekeepers, and the lie of rent.

In the middle of all this, there are solutions like Wood Street Commons, Nickelsville (Washington State), Aetna Street, Camp Resolution and Homefulness. Solutions created by poor, houseless, neuro-divergent, disabled people. Informed by poverty scholarship and our own overstanding of each others’ lives and struggles. But these settler governments refuse to listen or see anyway but their own incarceration nation. 

“We had a community that took care of each other, we provided free, healthy food stocked kitchen, healing services and a free store, but most of all community, provided where people felt safe,” John Janosko, resident leader of Wood Street Commons, 

PROPOSITION F (For F-U low-no-income substance users)

Propaganda: Proposition F would require anyone who receives CAAP benefits to be screened for substance use disorder if the city reasonably suspects the person to be dependent on illegal drugs. When screening indicates a recipient may be dependent on illegal drugs, the city will provide a professional evaluation and may refer the recipient to an appropriate treatment program. 

First of all, this is a racist, classist, abelist invasion of privacy, as the majority of people seeking the cash crumb are people of color, disabled, and/or houseless. The cash grant itself keeps a lot of poor people who happen to also be substance users housed, so this will lead to more of us poor, disabled people holding on by a  thread into the street.   

Finally, Mayor London Breed: There is such a thing as harm reduction! There are beautiful, amazing warrior survivors of substance abuse who are working their harm reduction programs and thriving. No, they wouldn’t pass these tests, but they are low-income and will quickly become houseless when and if they fail them, or just opt out of the test and lose that urgently needed support.

To hear more on the upcoming election for povertyskolaz tune in to Po Peoples Radio live radio and podcast at poormagazine.org/radio 6pm Tuesday, Feb 27 or find Po Peoples Radio wherever you get your podcasts.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

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