Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

August 14, 2009


The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and the National Coalition for the Homeless have issued a report listing the top the top 10 U.S. cities with the worst practices in relation to criminalizing homelessness. The national ranking is based on a number of factors, including the number of anti-homeless laws in the city, the enforcement of those laws, the general political climate toward homeless people in the city, and the city's history of criminalization measures.

Top Ten Meanest Cities:

1. Los Angeles, CA
2. St. Petersburg. FL
3. Orlando, FL
4. Atlanta, GA
5. Gainesville, FL
6. Kalamazoo, MI
7. San Francisco, CA
8. Honolulu, HI
9. Bradenton, FL
10. Berkeley, CA


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd more say that the "top meanest city" is Washington DC, since its rulers have the power to solve the problem in the other cities, but choose not to.

August 14, 2009 6:29 AM  
Anonymous PJ said...

Homelessness homelessness ...Read "Archimedes" by Mark Twain again. Then read it AGAIN. Then read it AGAIN. READ IT UNTIL YOU DAMN WELL UNDERSTAND IT!

August 14, 2009 10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

San Fran and Berkeley in the Top Ten? Progressives love the homeless. Just not on their streets.

August 15, 2009 5:17 PM  
Anonymous cabdriver said...

What do all of those cities have in common (with the singular exception of Kalamazoo, Michigan)?

A comfortable climate.

Plenty of places are so harsh on their "homeless" that inhospitability and lack of services doesn't even enter into it.

Example: when I visited Key West, Fla., many years ago, anyone who fell asleep on the beach was subject to arrest.

As for the placement of San Francisco and Berkeley on the list- it's due to the enduring popularity of the myth that progressive values and liberal tolerance go hand in hand with being a soft-headed, easy touch for freeloaders and vagrant small time criminals.

That's an erroneous assumption. In fact, it's a popular right-wing canard.

Why should it be true?

Productive citizens in the Bay Area (most of them, whether Republicans can stomach that fact or not) are tired of being hit on by transients with no more of a game plan for their lives than "let's see if we can sponge off some liberals" (and yes, most of the homeless in the Bay Area are from somewhere else, particularly the youth.)

That "meanness" isn't hypocrisy. It's a rational response to the abuse of trust inherent in the Freedom Lie, in thinking that The Sixties Utopia of San Francisco was all about never having to do anything or pay for anything- not to mention the complete lack of originality exhibited by every new crop of fools that gets off the Greyhound, expecting to live la dolce vita on the handouts of the locals. "Clueless" doesn't begin to cover it.

The vast majority of progressives and liberals have long since learned to reserve their progressivism and liberal tolerance for people who are at least trying to make something out of their lives.

My take: if you think that your unemployment and destitution is due to the injustices of the present political and economic system, and you think your vagrancy amounts to a protest against that injustice, go panhandle somewhere like the suburbs of Houston or Washington D.C., instead of dumping your burdens at the feet of the employed and taxpaying population of San Francisco, and blaming them for not taking better care of you.

If you think you have a guilt trip worth laying on someone, at least go lay it on the people who did you in, in the first place.

August 17, 2009 1:22 AM  
Anonymous cabdriver said...

Oh yeah, in regard to my comment about "sleeping on the beach" being a criminal offense in Key West-

"sleeping" was defined as having your eyes shut. In the daytime.

I'm not sure that ordinance is still in force. But that's how it was when I was there.

August 17, 2009 1:38 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home