by JS Scifo at californiaglobe.com
There are two things that stand between Gavin Newsom and the White House: Joe Biden and his own record as governor.
There’s not much Newsom can do about the former, but he’s trying hard to correct—at least cosmetically—the errors of the latter.
Thus, we see Newsom’s recent attention to water storage (Sites Reservoir) and his sudden concern about retail theft. His concession to reality by keeping the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant on line is another example. There has also been the deliberate avoidance of controversial social issues in his coyness about reparations and refusal to ban youth football, just the kind of cutting-edge social issues that have always been catnip to Newsom.
Proposition 1, the proposal on the March ballot to transform mental health services in the State, is at the center of Newsom’s efforts to rebrand himself as a pragmatic problem solver. And although nominally focused on mental health and substance abuse, Prop 1 is all about homelessness.
Of all the state’s dysfunctions, none is more damaging to Newsom’s attempts to “make the sell” to Americans than the State’s worst in the nation homelessness.
Unlike other issues that are less concrete—like, say, the high cost of living—homelessness, and the dysfunction that comes with it, are manifest. They permeate every corner of the State. Their immediate impact on quality-of-life is undeniable. Gavin Newsom simply cannot run a competitive race for president when parts of Los Angeles and San Francisco—the nation’s premier cities after New York and Chicago—resemble dystopian hellscapes.
So Proposition 1 is Newsom’s attempt to get credit for solving a problem that he and other state leaders contributed to by allowing the homelessness situation to spiral out of control. It is nothing more than a $6.4 billion talking point Newsom will use in his 2028 campaign for president, all at taxpayer expense.
Even if the resulting services are completely ineffective, Newsom will latch on to some bogus statistic he can use to tout his efforts.