Sit-lie supporters fired up for November initiative 

Supporters of a law to make sitting or lying on city sidewalks illegal made their case Monday, a day before Mayor Gavin Newsom is expected to introduce an initiative for the November ballot.

The proposal was defeated by a wide margin at the Board of Supervisors earlier this month, but Newsom plans to give voters the final say in November.

Newsom’s original proposal, with the support of police Chief George Gascón, would have made it illegal to sit or lie on sidewalks between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. Whether that will be the gist of a November ballot initiative is yet to be seen. There is also a question of whether it will be citywide or only in neighborhoods such as the Haight and Tenderloin.

While many have been critical of the law, equating it to criminalizing homelessness, some, such as Haight Ashbury resident Justin Buell, are rallying support for the initiative.

“Sidewalks are for everybody,” Buell said Monday. “Nobody has the right to squat on the sidewalk and make it their own.”

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Brent Begin

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