Reject restrictions on public plazas in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood
  • Petitioned San Francisco Supervisors Malia Cohen and Eric Mar

This petition was delivered to:

San Francisco Supervisors Malia Cohen and Eric Mar

Reject restrictions on public plazas in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood

    1. Petition by

      William Doherty

      San Francisco, CA

Public spaces in the city should be accessible to everyone in San Francisco, rather than putting restrictions on everyone's use of the commons in order to try to prevent the homeless from enjoying them.

Dear Supervisors Malia Cohen and Eric Mar (of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee):

We oppose Supervisor Scott Wiener's proposed regulations for Harvey Milk and Jane Warner plazas in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood. There was no community process in coming up with these regulations. In fact, a local community group, QUEEN (Queers for Economic Equality Now) had proposed a community task force to address any concerns people had with the plazas and develop ways to make them welcoming to all people, including the homeless. That proposal was rejected by Castro Benefits District, a neighborhood group funded by the city, and Scott Wiener.

As it stands now, the legislation is an attack on one particular population that uses the two plazas: the homeless or those perceived to be homeless, including queer youth who make up 40% of the city's homeless youth population.

Jane Warner, for whom the one plaza is named, cared a lot about homeless queer youth. As a Special Patrol officer, she worked tirelessly with homeless advocates in the neighborhood when they set up three separate homeless LGBT youth shelters in the late 90s. She understood that homeless people need services, housing and jobs, not citations that, when they aren't paid and turn into bench warrants, will inhibit their ability to secure housing.

The plaza named after Harvey Milk, another fierce advocate for queer youth, has become a symbol worldwide of the freedom that LGBT people have been fighting for these past five decades. It has always been a place where all people can gather, rally, have fun, sit, cruise, give out literature, sell pamphlets, and generally enjoy public space. Putting unnecessary restrictions on our public space is not in keeping with the spirit of Harvey Milk or the LGBT community.

We hope that you will vote to kill this legislation in committee. Thank you.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Ken Jones SAN FRANCISCO, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      A part of what makes San Francisco "work" is our willingness to embrace and welcome all; creating a truly safe place in a world otherwise drowning in hate and intolerance.

    • sabrina ramos SAN FRANCISCO, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      because i love public places and think they're important in order to keep communities social and vibrant and friendly and even safe.

    • Dean Bonilla SAN FRANCISCO, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      For the past 3 years i went from being a queer homeless youth in SF to being an advocate for my community. I have seen the many ways the government in SF is trying to erase very obvious problems about the amount of homelessness and what queer youth go through every day. Trying to hide the "problems" by not letting them be seen in public like they are less human than anyone else there and it makes me sick. Sickening and no longer a surprise, which is even worse. Ive become very jaded quickly about this city and I am saddened. When are we going to be more humanistic about our decisions? If this city, if our country, wants to get better we need to all be there for each other right now. Not tomorrow ,not when the funds get better but now

    • Tom Taylor SAN FRANCISCO, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      This is no way to treat homeless LBGT youth, you come here from all over North American and beyond, inspired by Harvey Milk and Jane Warner, to be turned away and isolated from not only being part of any community, but being stripped of their ability to form communities of their own in their time, and exercise the rights bequeathed to them by our framing fathers of the Constitution of the United States.

    • Susan Englander SAN FRANCISCO, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      The city created these spaces for the public. We are all the public, no matter how we dress, where we sleep, or how much money we do or don't have. Don't deny the spirit of the two souls that the plazas are named for.


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