Toothless? That might be the end result, but I think it might be more analogous to say it has a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth in a non-working jaw. Here's the crux of what the proposal would apparently do:
-Prohibit the enactment of any legislation in violation of a standard vague enough that it could be applied to virtually any legislation proposed, or to none of it
-Empanel 12 citizens with a mandate to review every law in San Francisco
-Give the panel the power to recommend the repeal any law that they decided was in violation of a standard again vague enough that it could be applied to virtually any law on the books, or to none of them
-Require the Board of Supervisors to repeal any law recommended for repeal by the panel or face severe financial penalties
This is very imaginative Ron, but surely you can't be serious! First of all, I'm pretty sure this would run up against the city charter, so it would have to be a charter amendment rather than a simple ordinance. Second, I highly doubt that the courts would uphold a requirement financially penalizing individual Supervisors for failing to repeal whatever laws an unelected panel they appointed told them to. I suspect there's also a whole lot of things that would have to be clarified, and that clarification would lead to further legal difficulties.
But even if the voters were to actually pass this sweeping, draconian and impossibly vague solution in search of a problem, and it somehow managed to dodge the various legal bullets, the Mayor and Board of Supervisors would just appoint a bunch of their buddies to the review panel. Then surprise, surprise, the panel would look at the existing laws and find that virtually none of them violated the standard except perhaps some very old "blue laws" that weren't being enforced and they'd been meaning to get rid of anyway!
I thought we were starting to get somewhere with the civil liberty measure discussions. You and I both agreed on the salary-capping concept, and several people liked the idea of reforming police priorities. I have to scratch my head and wonder what made you decide to run out and dig this up out of left field instead?
Yours in liberty,
<<< starchild >>>
Thanks for the great writing! I would love to see the sentiments you
express as the basis for an LP outreach brochure. As "education",
the proposal is terrific; as an initiative, however, it falls, in my
own personal opinion, into the toothless category. For example, we
repeal the San Francisco laws against, say, discrimination on the
basis of sexual orientation, but the State and Federal laws would
still apply. Most San Franciscans have no problem with toothless
initiatives; and our Board of Supes seems to crank them out by the
cartload. Thus, they are just my own personal pet peeve.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "tradergroupe"
San Francisco Multi-Cultural Civil Liberties and Human Rights Act
This Initiative Ordinance will ask all residents of San Francisco to be given equality of human rights and civil liberties. All San Franciscans will have their individual mores, beliefs, tenets and conduct based on their personal moral, racial, sexual, religious, social, cultural and ethical status or any other aspect of being a San Franciscan acknowledged, recognized and respected.
Each San Franciscan will be treated equally with the dignity and courtesy due any human being from any other human being. It is the apotheosis of this Initiative Ordinance to borrow a phrase: To treat San Franciscans as you would have them treat you.
Each San Franciscan will be asked to accept personal responsibility for their actions as it affects themselves and those around them in their daily life based on their personal moral, social, ethical, civil, cultural, religious, racial or sexual codes of conduct, beliefs, mores or tenets.
Furthermore, San Franciscans will be asked to not impose their beliefs, mores, tenets or codes of conduct on others unless those San Franciscans accept to do so willingly.
Be it therefore ordained by the People of the City and County of San Francisco:
Section 1. Title.
This ordinance shall be known and may be cited as the: ìSan Francisco Multi-Cultural Civil Liberties and Human Rights Actî
Section 2. Findings.
The City and County of San Francisco has long prided itself on the diversity of its residents. This diversity brings a vibrancy to the City unequaled and unmatched throughout the USA. Furthermore, this diversity enables the impact of an un-ending stream of cultural encounters to encompass and enhance the San Francisco experience.
On any given day it is possible to hear a wealth of languages from Mandarin to French to Brazilian to Ethiopian to Samoan to Arabic and Hispanic. If one is a gourmand the language of food speaks loudest from kippers to burritos to piroshkis to sushi to giros. If one enjoys imbibing there is the language of sake - cognac - vodka ñ schnapps ñ and a worldly assortment of fine and delectable wines.
One can select from a choice of religions from Protestant to Buddhist to Jewish to Catholic to Moslem to Hindu to Satanic. And cultural celebrations can range from the 4th of July to Cinco de Mayo to Carnaval to the LGBT parade.
The local communities from the Bayview-Hunters Point to Downtown to Chinatown to Pacific Heights to the Ocean Beach of the Richmond and the Sunset present a wide choice of locales within which to live. Music to tickle the ear ranges from hip-hop rappers to tejana trumpeters to classical violinists to sexy sax jazz and blues to hard rock electronic guitars of the Fillmore.
Section 3. Declarations.
The City and County of San Francisco through the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Ballot Initiatives has laws which in their purpose and intent were designed to provide for the common good of all San Franciscans. However, numbers of these laws had un-intended consequences by not recognizing the multi-cultural diversity of San Francisco and the wide range of inherent beliefs, tenets, conduct and mores each person residing in San Francisco developed as a part of their personal heritage and growth.
By enacting such laws individuals and groups of individuals were imposed upon in their moral, ethical, racial, sexual, religious, social and cultural status and other aspects of being a San Franciscan.
Section 4. Purpose and Intent.
The People of the City and County of San Francisco declare their purpose and intent in enacting the ìSan Francisco Multi-Cultural Civil Liberties and Human Rights Act ìto correct and make amends for any un-intentional insults, slights or slurs which may have been caused by such laws. Furthermore, to prevent any such laws being enacted in the future creating future insults to the diverse multi-cultural population of San Francisco.
Section 5. San Francisco Multi-Cultural Civil Liberties and Human Rights Act
Be it Resolved, the People of the City and County of San Francisco do establish the following ordinance.
No law may be enacted for the residents in the City and County of San Francisco by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors or by ballot initiative which imposes or would impose on any individual or group of individuals any: moral, social, ethical, civil, cultural, religious, racial or sexual codes of conduct, beliefs, mores or tenets.
All existing San Francisco City and County laws will be reviewed for repeal which may be in violation of this Act. To facilitate this review a Citizenís Review Panel of 12 members will be appointed to work jointly with the City Attorney to review the laws for repeal.
Within one month of certified approved passage of this Act the Mayor and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will have jointly appointed an eleven member Citizenís Review Panel with a panel member appointed from each Supervisorís electoral district. The panel member will represent the residents of the electoral district and the diversity of that electoral district.
The Mayor will request from among retired Superior Court judges a judge to act as chairman of the committee and for providing general legal advice and their experience as a jurist.
All panel members will serve without recompense. However, upon completion of their service it is recommended the Citizenís Review Panel members be jointly recognized by the Mayor and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for their services by a public ceremony for presentation of Certificates of Honor in acknowledgement of their hard work and endeavors on behalf of all San Franciscans.
Should the Mayor and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors fail in the assigned objective of empanelling the Citizenís Review Panel within the 30 days time period after certification of the election the Mayor and each member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will be each fined a sum of $1,000 per day. This fine will continue on a daily basis, weekends and holidays included, until as such time as the Citizenís Review Panel is empanelled. The fine will be paid by 100% garnishment of the next immediately available paycheck until the fine is paid in full.
The Citizenís Review Panel will act as a review board for the City Attorney as to whether or not the law(s) for consideration of repeal has imposed on any individual or group of individuals any moral, social, ethical, civil, cultural, religious, racial or sexual codes of conduct, mores, beliefs or tenets. If the City Attorney working with the Citizenís Review Panel discovers an individual or a group of individuals was imposed upon the discovered law(s) will be sent to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on a weekly basis for immediate repeal upon presentation.
The City Attorney in conjunction with the Citizenís Review Panel will complete the review of all existing laws within 6 months of the appointment of the Citizenís Panel for violations of this Act.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors nor any individual member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors may challenge the validity of the repeal nor evade the demand for repeal through any legal means. Once presented for repeal the repeal will be carried forward. The President of the Board of Supervisors will be expressly charged with holding a specific meeting in the Chambers of the Board of Supervisors for the repeal vote on a regularly scheduled weekly basis working with the City Attorney.
Any member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors absenting themselves from the Chambers of the Board of Supervisors for the repeal vote for purposes of withholding a quorum to invalidate a repeal vote will be fined $10,000 per occurrence. No excuse for absence will be allowed other than death of the Supervisor or an immediate family member or the hospitalization of the Supervisor. The $10,000 fine is to be paid by a garnishment of 100% of the Supervisors next paycheck until the fine is paid in full starting with the next immediately available paycheck.
Section 6. Effective Date.
The Provisions of this Act shall become effective immediately upon certification of the election results by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
SECTION 7. Severability.
If any provision of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid or unconstitutional, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect other provisions or applications of this act that can be given effect without the invalid or unconstitutional provision of this application, and to this end the provisions of this ordinance are severable.
SECTION 8. Amendments.
The provisions of this initiative, once enacted, may not be amended except by another initiative measure.