Report: Gavin Newsom Hasn’t Read Prop. C

San Francisco's former mayor hasn't taken a position on the homeless funding effort but said the problem would "get a lot worse" with hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding.

Proposition C, which would roughly double funding to combat homelessness, is San Francisco’s most famous measure on the November ballot.

It’s got tech titans arguing on Twitter, national outlets taking note, and has served as a chance to undo myths — and terrible math tactics that must immediately retire — about how San Francisco spends its homelessness budget. But Gavin Newsom, the city’s former mayor vying to become governor of California, hasn’t read the measure, KCBS reports

“There are over 476 cities [in California],” Newsom told KCBS. “If I started getting into each initiative and each part of the state — and trust me I can assure you, regardless of my proximity to having been mayor, which was close to eight years ago, there are other parts of the state that would expect and demand the same.”

That hasn’t stopped Newsom from negatively opining on the proposition, just without naming it directly. As a reminder, Prop. C is expected to annually rake in $300 million through an average of a half percent increase to a gross receipts tax for companies making more than $50 million a year.

“Put another $400 million in the homeless problem and I promise you this: Your problem is going to get a lot worse,” the former San Francisco mayor told the San Francisco Chronicle in August after a meeting with the business lobby Bay Area Council. “It’s not a San Francisco issue; it’s a regional issue.”

Earlier this month, Mayor London Breed took a similar line by arguing that the city needs to audit the $300 million it already spends on homelessness. San Franciscans, she said, deserve accountability — but apparently not when homelessness funds are raised via a sales tax, not the richest 300 businesses, as Mission Local pointed out.

Breed, Newsom, and state Sen. Scott Wiener are the few, though most prominent politicians to come out against Prop. C one way or another. From Rep. Nancy Pelosi to SF YIMBY, many he politically aligns are supportive of Prop. C — maybe he should try giving it a read if he’s as committed to reducing homelessness as he says he is.  

That, or have San Francisco’s newest, loudest Prop. C supporter, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, dig up old tweets to contradict today’s positions.

Newsom’s campaign office did not respond to a request comment before publication. 

Read more on Gavin Newsom:

High Society Money Got Newsom to High Places
The Los Angeles Times has an excellent new exposé on Gavin Newsom’s decades of donations from San Francisco’s wealthiest old-money families.

Newsom’s Commission Drops Lawsuit Against S.F.
Both sides claim victory, and gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom is no longer bringing a lawsuit against his hometown.

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