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728Re: Fwd: URGENT: Security Needed at Hallidie Plaza (elevator service)

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  • Justin DeCastro
    Mar 2, 2010
      Tommy, thanks, I totally agree with everything you're saying.  

      First off, let me be clear that I loved the street life and was either hustling, cruising or just hanging out on the streets most of my life up until a few years ago when I wound up having to rely on a power chair for getting around very far outdoors.  That's about the time I got much more heavily involved in the disability rights community and movement for the first time in earnest.  Hardly a coincidence, indeed.  I soon learned how more challenging it is to live without being able to walk as far as I like as in the better days.

      As I've found out in these past years, it seems I don't get half as fired up as other wheelchair users who try to navigate around folks sitting or lying around on the sidewalks. I also don't elicit the same reaction I hear from other wheelchair users -- they complain of being hit on for money simultaneously with being insulted for being gimps by street people. So I suppose a sort of anti-street people resentment has taken foothold now even among people with disabilities/PWD who feel harassed by them and see them as a nuisance to get around on sidewalks.   

      In my experience, I do get hit on for money but when I tell them, "sorry, I'm broke,"  I don't get the kind of lip other wheelchair users tell me they do. I guess it's a matter of knowing how to communicate with street people, and like in any other demographic, some are cool, others suck. I do suspect that a lot of wheelchair folks just feel easily intimidated by street types.

      In any case, how, then, while preserving our Constitutional freedoms of movement, assembly, expression, etc., do we resolve the problem on the Haight?  Is it truly just merchants and no residential folks who are pushing for the sit/lie thing?

      Tommi, thanks for reminding me of some of those ugly consequences like to come with the sit/lie ordinance.  I'm taking the liberty of posting this on QV, because we need to remind folks that the sit/lie was shot down once as UNconstitutional, and certainly nothing has changed in that respect.  

      So how can Gascon and Gavin actually pull this off?  I heard the ordinance is already being challenged.  Won't there be restraining orders issued?  

      Our Constitutional freedoms are already harnessed by a Patriot Act that allows the Executive to declare any of us, United States citizens or not, "suspected enemy combatants", and allow us to be jailed without right of counsel, habeas corpus, etc.  We don't need "sit/lie" to make their jobs that much easier in San Francisco's jurisdiction.  

      Next thing we know they'll be declaring martial law.

                    JUSTIN DeCASTRO
             Live & Let Live! Love & Let Love!


      On Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 5:27 PM, tommi avicolli mecca <avimecca@...> wrote:
      Hi Justin
      The problem is that specifying for a certain street or area may be patently unconstitutional since that is discriminatory. Also, even if it's not, the police may not stick to that and may hassle people at 17th & Market/Castro, especially if they appear "homeless." And what about day laborers in the Mission? This is a good way for neighbors to get the cops to do their dirty work of evicting day laborers from the street.
      Sit/lie is dangerous. In its original form in the 70s, it was used to harass and arrest gay men. Harvey Milk opposed it in 74 after a young gay man was beaten by cops outside a gay bar and 13 others were arrested for violation of sit/lie. In 79, the ACLU challenged it and had it struck down, with the support of queer groups.
      This law will not solve any problems. Problem people in the Haight will merely stand when causing problems rather than sit or lie down. And if they get cited enough and it turns into a warrant, they will have problems in the future getting any federally funded housing.
      It's a disaster all around.
      You're right, it's an attack on our constitutional rights! No sit/lie in SF! Will the city spend millions defending it when it is challenged again in court? Money that could be used to address the situation without attacking our civil liberties.
      Take care, Justin.

      From: Justin DeCastro <justindecastro@...>
      To: Bevan Dufty <Bevan.Dufty@...>
      Sent: Tue, March 2, 2010 5:01:59 PM
      Subject: Re: Fwd: URGENT: Security Needed at Hallidie Plaza (elevator service)

      Thanks, Bevan!  

      BTW, can't the "sit/lie" ordinance be the kind where it is declared for a specific street or other venue until the specific "problem" is resolved, rather than making it a citywide permanent ordinance for all parts of our city and for all times?  I mean, what's the point in having a little open space at Castro/17th/Market if we can be kicked out for sitting around soaking in some rays and chatting with friends while we eat our subway sandwiches, for example.

      It seems so draconian and will only set a precedent for limiting our Constitutional freedoms, which is never a good thing to do, as we all know.

      Ciao for now,

                    JUSTIN DeCASTRO
             Live & Let Live! Love & Let Love!


      On Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 4:46 PM, Bevan Dufty <Bevan.Dufty@...> wrote:


      I've asked SFPUC, BART and DPW to be aware of this concern.

      Keep me posted.


       From:       Justin DeCastro <justindecastro@...>

       To:         "Osborne, Jamie C" <jamie.osborne@...>, Ken Stein <Ken.Stein@...>, ADAPT-CAL@yahoogroups.com, Berkeley-Disabled
                   <berkeley-disabled@yahoogroups.com>, Chris Daly <Chris.Daly@...>, Bevan Dufty <Bevan.Dufty@...>

       Date:       03/02/2010 04:40 PM

       Subject:    Fwd: URGENT: Security Needed at Hallidie Plaza (elevator service)

      Could you please notify DPW directly that there needs to be lighting in
      Hallidie Plaza closest to the elevator system there?  I figure you have
      direct contact over City departments, correct?

      Thank you so much.

                    JUSTIN DeCASTRO           justindecastro@...
             Live & Let Live! Love & Let Love!


      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: Dominic Celaya <Dominic.Celaya@...>
      Date: Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 4:12 PM
      Subject: Re: URGENT: Security Needed at Hallidie Plaza (elevator service)
      To: Justin DeCastro <justindecastro@...>

      Mr. DeCastro,

      I have read your email and provided the information to my Lieutenants to
      have our Officers pay attention to that location. It is patrolled quite
      regularly by not only our Footbeat Officers, but also from Officers on the
      Mid Market St. Footbeat Unit. I have provided your email to that unit (Lt.
      Garrity) as well and spoken with one of their supervisors regarding your
      Unfortunately, I do not have a current contact for BART PD to forward this.
      I would suggest calling BART for contact numbers for their PD.

      The Lights are not controlled by the Police, but by DPW.  You need to
      contact DPW (311 system) and express your concern and request. The 311
      system is specifically set up for these requests. (Dial 311 or visit the
      sfgov website for more info on the 311 system.) They have representatives
      to help for lighting issues. If you have no success, please let me know.

      Captain Dominic Celaya
      Tenderloin Task Force

      To:  Cpt Gary Jimenez, Tenderloin Police Station
            Jamie Osborne, SFMTA
            Ken Stein, Mayors Office on Disability/MOD


      As you must all know by now, the Powell Street Station street elevator has been out of service due to major over-haul for several months now.  

      The Hallidie Plaza elevator officially is serving, in the interim, as the only provision for mobility-impaired and wheelchair user access between the Market Street level and the concourse level for Muni and BART riders.

      I continue to receive complaints from Tenderloin and downtown residents that Hallidie Plaza is not adequately secured,especially after evening rush-hour until closing at 1:00 a.m., so that elders and people with disabilities feel unsafe being confronted by unsavory characters (possibly drug dealers) as they go into and out of the Hallidie Plaza elevator.  The lights in the Plaza level itself are out in the later evenings, even though there is some lighting at the elevator door itself.  This is not adequate for security, is it?

      Could you please see if perhaps SFPD, Muni and BART police might be able to coordinate more security for the Plaza in the evenings?  And can they keep the lights in the Plaza level on until 1 a.m. when the transit systems close for the night?

      We may be frail and/or disabled San Franciscans, but we have lives to lead and are as entitled as any other passengers to feel safe in Hallidie Plaza in the evenings as we return from visiting friends across town, or from community and social events, or from any other functions we attend at night.  We should not have to travel in fear, as I'm sure you will agree.

      Thank you for your anticipated attention to this security matter.  We trust you will take action before anyone is injured.


                    JUSTIN DeCASTRO
             Live & Let Live! Love & Let Love!



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