Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Public Safety vs. Public Health 2: Poverty Inc.

The demonstration organized by SEIU (the Service Employees International Union) on the steps of City Hall seemed to be better organized than the fireman's affair, possibly because they have more practice.

The ubiquitous Robert Haaland was one of the speakers...

...and a number of the San Francisco "stupidvisors" were in attendance, including Eric Mar...

...and the newly demonized John Avalos, chair of the Budget Committee.

Supervisor Chris Daly, with babe in arms, looked like he could have stood on either side of the street except that he's been characterized as Public Enemy Number One for years by many of the powers aligned with the firefighters.

Mike Farrah, head of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services, looked similarly torn, crossing back and forth between the two camps.

The major gripe of the public health protest was that the budget that Mayor Newsom proposed contains huge cuts in public health spending, which has already received a number of slices over the last couple of years.

In the same budget, Newsom has proposed to give a 6% raise to the already well-compensated, benefits-for-life police and firefighters. This wasn't sitting well with other city employees about to lose their jobs.

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