A totally foreseeable and preventable tragedy is playing out in our City:
- 91 people at our largest homeless shelter have contracted COVID-19.
- 32 people living in single room occupancy (SRO) hotels.
- And who knows how many people sleeping on our streets.
It was obvious when the pandemic started that our neighbors who lack a private bathroom, bed, or home would be most at risk. Most of our allies on the Board of Supervisors immediately called for moving people out of shelters and SROs and off the streets into the thousands of hotel rooms that are now sitting vacant. It's frigging obvious, right? As the Coalition on Homelessness put it, #HotelsNotHospitalBeds. But the Mayor and Department of Homelessness have stubbornly resisted. Check out Joe Eskenazi's damning piece on how we got to this point.
Six Supervisors (Ronen, Haney, Preston, Peskin, Walton and Mar) have sponsored an emergency ordinance to require the City to rent 8,250 hotel rooms by April 26: 7,000 for unsheltered people, 750 for first responder quarantine, and 500 for other quarantines. Much of the cost would be reimbursed by FEMA. (Info on the ordinance: legislative digest, letter from UC Berkeley public health experts, Budget Analyst report.) But emergency ordinances require eight votes, and the vote is happening Tuesday, April 14th.
Please help us right now to convince our three undecided allies on the Board: Supervisors Norman Yee, Sandy Fewer, and Rafael Mandelman.
- Email them (bonus points for customizing it!)
- Retweet this tweet
- Share our Facebook post
- Call them: Yee: (415) 554-6516; Fewer: (415) 554-7410; Mandelman: 415-554-6968
Our email to the Supervisors:
Supervisors Yee, Fewer, and Mandelman,
The League of Pissed Off Voters has endorsed each of you multiple times, and we're proud of how our members helped get you into office. We consider you allies in our effort to build a progressive governing majority. In these unprecedented times, there is nothing more progressive you can do than vote for the emergency ordinance to secure hotel rooms for San Francisco's most vulnerable. #HotelsNotHospitalBeds
We know you will soon be grappling with how to balance a brutal budget deficit, and we understand it's unclear how much we will be reimbursed for the cost of these hotel rooms. But it is clearly a wise investment to minimize the spread of the coronavirus in our most vulnerable populations. And the moral argument is much more important and unequivocal than any fiscal argument: don't let our unhoused needlessly neighbors die on our streets!
The San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters
P.S. The lack of oversight on this failure to care for our homeless neighbors is one more reason we call on you to create a homelessness commission.