The public discourse about this has centered on the question of criminalization of the poor. Beyond that question, which obviously has to do with the ideological divides in the city, I would like to bring once more, with your permission, gentle reader, the question of enforceability and benefit.
As characterized by Nevius (critiquing Jeff Adachi), the proposal "would restrict sitting or lying on public sidewalks anywhere in the city between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. First-time violators would be warned to move, then could receive a citation with a $50 to $100 fine. The second violation could result in 10 days in jail or a fine of $300 to $500, and each violation after that would be subject to a $500 fine and 30 days in jail." Since the targeted offenders would, for the most part, be unable to pay the fine, they'd be shunted to court, where the case would be closed or diverted to the Community Justice Center or to the Mental Health Court, where the same population could end up anyway, for the exact same reasons, if prosecuted for one of the following violations of the already existing San Francisco Police Code, Article 2:
120-2: Aggressive Solicitation
122: Aggressive Pursuit
Why do we need yet another low-level municipal law for people who are easy to tangle in the law enforcement web anyway, if we really want to entangle then in it? Could this be yet *another* politically-motivated symbolic piece of useless legislation? I leave that to you, gentle reader.
Oh, and if anyone feels that this piece of legislation might be a waste of precious policymaking time, it appears you'll have a chance to speak up today at the police commission meeting.
Props to Michael Mutalipassi for digging out the police code provisions.