California's Epic Homeless Nightmare
What's the matter with California? "It's suffering from San Fransickness," which is "pathological altruism," answers Michael Shellenberger, author of the book "San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities."
Too many homeless people. Too little common sense. Too much magical thinking.
Shellenberger is running for governor, with a platform to undo the damage done by Gov. Gavin Newsom and the overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature with an approach to homelessness that can best be described as enabling.
A Berkeley Hills resident, the author witnessed the City by the Bay's decline as good intentions trampled common sense and homeless encampments mushroomed.
In Oakland this week, he tells me over a Zoom call, he visited an encampment that is a mile long.
Shellenberger's remedy can be condensed into three Ps: policing, psychiatry and probation.
His focus is not on what people do behind closed doors, but the normalization of drug addicts shooting up and camping out in public spaces -- and getting away with it because they've convinced the left they all are victims of circumstances beyond their control.
The result: San Francisco's unsheltered homeless population spiked between 2005 and 2020, while the unsheltered homeless populations in New York, Chicago and Miami decreased.
In California's two-tier primary system, the second-highest vote getter in the June 7 primary will run against the front-runner in November.
Newsom may have won last year's recall handily, but here's how you know he knows that he is vulnerable: Newsom is running ads against state Sen. Brian Dahle, a Republican.