One bill can’t fix the California housing crisis. But SB 35 is a big step in the right direction, and will enable more people to move to hugely productive areas of California and grow the American economy as a whole. The whole country should be celebrating.
“The reality is, being sick is not a crime, it’s a health issue,” Wiener said. “When you criminalize health conditions, all you do is push people into the shadows. We want people who are infected to know their status and get care. You don’t do that by threatening them with state prison.”
Somehow, my bill to protect elderly LGBT people became the latest fodder for a right-wing bathroom freakout.
September 20, 2017
When it comes to attacks from the extremes of the conservative movement, I thought I’d seen it all: I’m a gay, liberal California state senator representing San Francisco, who pushes progressive policies on issues including LGBT rights. The blasts from right-wing media come often — and I often blast back.
The result is that housing has jumped to the top of Sacramento’s legislative agenda. Mr. Wiener has only been in office for nine months and introduced SB35 as his first bill.
“When I started with SB35 I wasn’t sure how far it would go, so I was surprised how many of my colleagues got it,” he said. “We are moving past the era where every city in California could view itself as an independent kingdom that could refuse to build any housing. Our cities are all interconnected, and housing decisions in one city affect many other cities, and state law needs to reflect that.”
“We need to make it easier for transgender and gender non-conforming people to live their lives as who they are, not who society says they’re supposed to be,” said her coauthor Sen. Scott Wiener, also a Democrat.
September 15, 2017
By Jessica Testa
The California legislature passed a bill Thursday that would make the state the first in the US to widely recognize a third, nonbinary gender.
Senator Scott Wiener (D), another author of the bill, said the bill is about “giving the American people the honesty and transparency they deserve.”
“As the months continue to go by in the disastrous Trump Administration and the investigations and conflicts of interest pile up, it becomes more and more clear how critical basic transparency is in how we elect our president,” he said in a statement.
When he was a San Francisco supervisor, Sen. Scott Wiener got a lot of flak from progressives for being the buttoned-up, boring moderate who mandated that the city’s naked people cover their genitals.
Now that he’s a Sacramento legislator, he’s getting even more flak — this time from the far right. Not only is he a San Francisco liberal (shocking!), but he’s also gay (good heavens!). And he’s spending a lot of time — grab the smelling salts! — writing laws to help the LGBT community.
“President Trump sent a shockwave through the immigrant community and this country by pardoning a convicted criminal who illegally profiled and jailed people based solely on suspicions about their immigration status,” he said. “Today, the California Senate sent a message to our immigrant neighbors that unlike this President, we stand with you in working to keep our communities safe. Making immigrants fearful that testifying in court may get you deported isn’t how we ensure justice and public safety. California’s courts are houses of justice, not ad hoc detention centers where ICE agents can round up law-abiding immigrants.”
It’s time to give local governments more control over when, where and how alcohol is served. A city like Los Angeles, for instance, shouldn’t have to shut down its bars early each night in deference to a fusty, 80-year-old law. Letting responsible establishments in appropriate neighborhoods stay open later would help create a fun, bustling, vibrant, big-city atmosphere attractive to younger people and tourists — while also generating tax revenue, creating jobs and increasing the earnings of small businesses.
“This isn’t just a threat to San Francisco,” said Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco. “Sometimes housing gets portrayed as a San Francisco/Bay Area problem. This is a contagion that is moving around the state and spreading like wildfire. Parts of California that have always been considered affordable aren’t anymore.”