Column: Newsom and mayors meet to discuss homelessness. Have we hit rock bottom?
Newsom & mayors meet to discuss homeless
At a time when news of homelessness in San Diego has reached crisis proportions, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner was one of a score of public figures who turned out for a press event on housing Tuesday, with a wide array of mayors from Los Angeles, San Bernadino, Sacramento and New York all in attendance.
But while there was broad consensus from the attendees — San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan were among the dozens of journalists invited to the event — there was no consensus on the crisis and how to deal with it.
While some of the mayors spoke about the issue of homelessness, others said they weren’t interested.
“There is really no need for the press to be there. I didn’t even know it was an issue,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who attended the Tuesday morning event, said in an interview.
“I haven’t read any news about this. It doesn’t interest me,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. “I’m not going in.”
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan were among the mayors who appeared at the press conference in San Diego to discuss homelessness.
Newsom was the only mayor who addressed the meeting, which was held at the San Diego Community College. He spoke to the assembled ranks of journalists on the issue of homelessness, which he called “a public health crisis that’s affecting our state now at a time when we have the potential to be one of the safest places in America.”
“When I came into office, people asked me where the homeless were. Now they ask me where’s the funding for homeless housing,” the mayor said.
But when asked how he planned to deal with the problem, Newsom did not