Persuasive Essay- Sf Sit Lie Ordinance

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To be Clean? Or to be Fair?
“San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal. That is the whole truth.” - William Saroyan

Oh, the art of San Francisco. A city filled with art not only in the form of breathtaking pictures, but art in the form of flamboyant parades, differing cultures, and unique landscapes. All of this combine to make San Francisco an “epicenter for liberal activism” (Begin 1). For decades, San Francisco has been known to be one of the most progressive cities in the country, being home to a number of protests and rallies formed to further human rights and create equality in the world. However, lately a large amount of proposed laws are making people question this once irrefutable reputation. The latest of these laws is directly targeting homeless people. The Sit/Lie Ordinance, also known as Proposition L, would ban individuals from sitting or lying on public sidewalks from the hours of 7 a.m. to 11 p.m (Begin 1). This would mean that any homeless person who simply sits on the sidewalk minding his or her business during such hours would face an expensive fine and possible jail time. Such a law completely contradicts the meaning of a public sidewalk. The sidewalks are public; they are accessable by all members of a community, regardless of their financial status. How can the city of “love and peace” be the same city that criminalizes individuals sitting on a public sidewalk? This ordinance is both unfair and unethical, targeting a group of people just because of their poverty level and creating discrimination rather than fighting it.

Proposed by Mayor Gavin Newsom, this law was first brought up in response to the increase in violent outbursts on the streets and the compromised safety people felt while walking on sidewalks of the city. Individuals reported being harassed and assaulted by the homeless and felt their safety was at...