Not a List to be Proud of...
In the wake of all the Golden Globe coverage, we nearly forgot to mention that several California cities made a not-so-prestigious list this weekend. The National Coalition for the Homeless, a nonprofit organization that focuses on justice, economic justice, health care justice and civil rights issues, released a list of the 20 meanest cities in America in 2005.
Criteria to make the list included "...the number of anti-homeless laws in the city, the enforcement of those laws and severities of penalties, the general political climate toward homeless people in the city, local advocate support for the meanest designation, the city’s history of criminalization measures, and the existence of pending or recently enacted criminalization legislation in the city."
Santa Monica -- surprise, surprise -- clocked in at no. 9, Los Angeles at no. 18 and our liberally minded NoCal counterparts in San Francisco ranked 11th. (LAist is actually surprised that the City of Angeles didn't rank higher on the list, in light of Steve Lopez's recent Los Angeles TImes' series about the homeless and the reports of suburban police dumping the homeless on Skid Row.)
The organization acknowledges that while some of these mean streets have made progress in addressing the issue of homelessness, "the punitive practices highlighted in the report impede true progress in solving the problem."
Here's the complete list: