Gavin Moves Rejected Issues to New Arena

Controversial sit-lie law one of three measures put to voters

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom took aim at his political opponents at City Hall with two out of three ballot measures set for November.

    San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom managed to get three ballot measures submitted before the Tuesday deadline.  All will be put to city voters in November.

    Two of the three were aimed squarely at his political opponents.

    The biggest issue is the sit-lie law which Newsom and Police Chief George Gascon have been pushing for. The law was voted down 8-3 by the Board of Supervisors.

    Officially named the "civil sidewalks" ordinance, the measure would make it a crime to sit or lie on city sidewalks between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. across San Francisco. However, if not impeding sidewalks, you'll still be allowed to camp overnight at the Apple Store in anticipation of new gadgets.

    Opponents of the measure say that the law is an attack on civil liberties, and that police officers already have plenty of laws to arrest people for crimes in public spaces like assault and drug use.

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    It's also been accused of being a wedge issue meant to bring more conservative voters to the polls in the hopes of unseating "progressive" supervisors up for reelection.

    Some of those same supervisors also serve on the Democratic County Central Committee, and Newsom wants that state of affairs ended by submitting a ballot measure to bar serving both in City Hall and on the party committee.

    Finally, the third ballot measure would close a hotel tax loophole that allows budget hotel room brokers to pocket the difference between the full tax rate and the tax charged for the discounted rooms.

    The latter measure is estimated to bring in a possible $6 million in revenue for the city.

    Jackson West will vote yes on one of the three, at least.