Prop L / Sit-Lie / Civil Sidewalks Update: The Reverend Billy at 1:00 PM Today – Praveen Madan’s Viewpoint – FTC’s Backyard

First up comes the Reverend Billy, who plans to “exorcise” Proposition L today en La Mission. (Now, “Wheezy” wants me back at the Help Center so I can’t go, but this event should prove amusing.) Deets after the jump.

Next up, comes The BookSmith‘s Praveen Madan, who doesn’t like the sit / lie.

And here’s Scott James, who points out that “Without Cash, Sit/Lie Won’t Share Santa Cruz Program’s Success.”

And finally, let’s a take a look at a pro-Prop L rally from a while ago – it was held at FTC Skate Boarding, a close of neighbor of the aforementioned BookSmith book sto’.

This was the scene on Haight Street, with these people voicing opposition to L:

Click to expand

And here’s FTC owner Kent Uyehara a few door down, talking about why he’s supporting Civil Sidewalks, with SFPD Police Chief George Gascon in the background there:

Now I can’t tell you all the shenanigans planned for this rally by some of the anti-L people because I don’t know all the deets, but nothing occurred because FTC’s secured and ginormous backyard was the venue. See? Look, Michela Alioto-Pier was there:

And here’s Paul Henderson, of the office of District Attorney Kamala Harris:

And speaking of District 2, candidate for Supervisor Mark Farrell was on the scene as well:

You get to this private backyard via a tunnel between two buildings on  Haight Street – it’s amazing. (Come the Revolution, this thing will become Peoples Park West, no doubt.) Note old-school bathtub:

And, oh, here’s District 4 Supervisor Carmen Chu carrying water for Civil Sidewalks in the Middle / “Outer” Sunset (The Midset!) on Irving in the rain yesterday:

So that’s your Prop L / Sit-Lie / Civil Sidewalks Update.

The Rev. Billy, and more from Carmen, after the jump


WHEN: Monday, October 25 at 1:00 pm.

WHERE: 16th and Mission Plaza, Southwest corner

WHAT: Rally and “exorcism” of Prop L with performance artist REVEREND BILLY, his full choir, SUPERVISOR JOHN AVALOS, the Sidewalks are for People Coalition, and other special guests.

WHY: The event is a rally against proposition L, which would make it a jailable offense to sit on any sidewalk in San Francisco from 7am – 11pm.  Numerous organizations and regular San Franciscans say this law would be a violation of our fundamental civil rights and it would have devastating impact on our city’s culture and community. Prop L which was defeated by an 8-3 vote at the BOARD OF SUPERVISORS is opposed by the DEMOCRATIC PARTY, MARK LENO, TOM AMMIANO, ACLU, LAWYERS COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS, and numerous other organizations, elected officials, and community leaders.

VISUALS: The REVEREND BILLY is a performance artist and activist who, in the character of an evangelical preacher, will give a very animated, passionate, and humorous “sermon.” His full gospel choir in colorful robes, accompanied by live music, will sing songs about freedom in our public space and on our sidewalks.  There will be many very large colorful campaign signs and a large crowd of people.

REVEREND BILLY, of the CHURCH OF LIFE AFTER SHOPPING, is a once San Francisco-based, now NYC-based activist and performer. He is the subject of the Morgan Spurlock (SUPERSIZE ME) documentary “WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY?” He has appeared numerous times on network news programs and has traveled across the United States and Europe to spread his message of freedom of public space, anti-consumerism, economic justice, and environmental protection, etc.  In 2009 Reverend Billy received a special commendation for his art and activism from the SAN FRANCISCO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.

REVEREND BILLY and his choir are currently on a west coast tour. They will be performing Monday 7pm at the Victoria Theater.

PROP L is controversial proposition on the San Francisco November ballot that would make it a crime to sit or lie on the sidewalk in San Francisco.  The SIDEWALKS ARE FOR PEOPLE COALITION is a broad-based coalition of community groups, activists, and everyday residents opposed to Prop L.  Opponents of Prop L include, THE SAN FRANCISCO DEMOCRATIC PARTY, ACLU, STATE SENATOR MARK LENO, ASSEMBLYPERSON TOM AMMIANO, LAWYERS COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS, HAIGHT ASHBURY NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL, and numerous other organizations, elected officials, and community leaders.

Visit for more endorsements and other information.

For more information on Reverend Billy and the Church of Life After Shopping visit:

Supervisor Carmen Chu Joins Chinese-American Leaders in Calling for No on M, Yes on L
Irving Street, San Francisco, Oct. 24 – Supervisor Carmen Chu joined Chinese-American leaders and the Coalition for Civil Sidewalks yesterday in urging San Franciscans to vote No on M/Yes on L.

Residents, pedestrians and small business owners feel increasingly intimidated by groups of people who camp out on San Francisco sidewalks for long periods of time.  To address this problem, Proposition L would give police the discretion to ask individuals colonizing our sidewalks to stand between 7:00 am and 11:00 pm.  Currently, the police must receive a complaint from a community resident or business owner who is willing to testify in court in order to address a type of behavior that frequently leads to aggressiveness towards passersby.  Residents and business owners frequently avoid confrontations and do not file complaints for fear of retaliation.

“Proposition L makes San Francisco sidewalks open and accessible for our families, children and small businesses by giving the City an extra tool to address the aggressive behaviors we sometimes see on our neighborhood commercial corridors,”  explained Supervisor Chu.

Kent Uyehara, longtime owner of FTC Skateboards on Haight Street , is the leader of the Civil Sidewalks Coalition and spoke about his personal experiences with the unruly transients that threaten his employees and customers.  “Day after day, I am forced to deal with uncivil behavior right on my doorstep.  Without Proposition L, the police are powerless to prevent transients from abusing anyone outside my store.  It’s time to give them the tools they need to address this behavior – I urge you to vote No on M, and Yes on L, for Civil Sidewalks.”

Civil Sidewalks supporters also advocate the defeat of Prop M, a poison pill initiative by the Board of Supervisors.  If M receives more votes than L, even if L passes, Prop L is nullified and the status quo of harassment and threats on our streets will be preserved.

Supervisor Chu explained “Proposition M is not needed because community policing can be and has been implemented in parts of the City already. What Proposition M would do is cancel out a vote for Prop L, Civil Sidewalks.”

Supervisor Chu was joined by Chinese-American leaders Benny Yee, Former President of the Sunset Merchants Association, Fire Commissioner George Lau and several Irving Street merchants.  No on M/Yes on L is also endorsed by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Mayor Gavin Newsom, District Attorney Kamala Harris, Police Chief Gascon, the Chinatown Merchants Association, the Westside Chinese Democratic Club, Asian Pacific Democratic Club, over 30 neighborhood and merchant organizations, 1,000 individual small business owners, and over 2,000 San Francisco residents.

“Support small business and support your neighborhoods.  Vote No on M, and Yes on L for Civil Sidewalks,” concluded Supervisor Chu.


The No on M/Yes on L Coalition for Civil Sidewalks is a grassroots group of families, residents and small merchants who believe that sidewalks should be a safe place for our children, elderly and disabled.  Unfortunately, the people who encamp on city sidewalks are becoming increasingly intolerant of people who are merely trying to walk by.  This has led to threats, violence, and physical retaliation.

Proposition L closes a loophole in the law that will enable police to address this behavior without having to have a resident or business owner file a complaint and be willing to testify in court.  Similar laws have been enacted with success in over 60 other U.S. cities. The Coalition for Civil Sidewalks wants to return civility to our sidewalks; they belong to everyone.

For more information, please visit

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