Wow, Erica, this has to really tear a knee-jerk liberal like yourself up. What to do? Support the "fuck the police" position and back the idea that "we the people" can police ourselves. Or support the "hooray for small businesses" position, and endorse the notion that the police should actually do their job. I have no doubt that whatever position you take, you'll let us know, in extensive detail, that it was right and just.
Good for Licata. The mayor has rushed through his recommendations, in my opinion, and the potential for disaster is great. Not to say that the present situation is good. I believe the police do need better tools to deal with problem situations, but the mayor's proposals are more sledgehammer than scalpel.
Hopefully Licata will do the right and wise thing and not pass this bill to committee at all which would kill it. The process that came up with this legislation was a political and bureaucratic joke. The bill itself does nothing Nickels claims it will. In grand fashion, Nickels' staff created a legislative mess, but instead of fixing it, they just unloaded it to council, making it their problem instead of the Mayor's.
What the council should do is create a real task force with real power to come up with something to deal with the issues of mixed use urban density in a holistic way. This will take some more time, but at the end of it we'll have some well thought out legislation that addresses developers building crap condos with no noise insulation, parking lot owners who refuse to patrol their businesses at night or clean up after their patrons, residents who move into the city expecting it to be the suburbs, crack dealers who freely live and work in the most dense areas with no fear of arrest, homelessness, the general lack of patrol officers in high activity areas at night, and yes, bad bar and club owners. We need to address all these issues, not attack one class of businesses that add important services to the city.
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