"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

March 03, 2008

I don't think this is meant to attract tourists:

Hollywood has its star Walk of Fame, but San Francisco could soon have a Walk of Shame - complete with human-shaped bronze sidewalk plaques marking where the city's homeless have died on the streets.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution last week urging the Department of Public Works to approve a privately funded plan to install "commemorative bronze sidewalk plaques" in the districts of Supervisors Chris Daly and Ross Mirkarimi, both champions of the city's homeless.

However, it doesn't seem many of the supes bothered to read the resolution before voting "yes." Mirkarimi, for example, was listed as co-sponsor - but he knew little about the project when we contacted him after the vote, and he referred us to Daly's office. Daly did not return calls or a written request for comment, although his staff confirmed he had met with the memorial's organizer. And board President Aaron Peskin couldn't recall the measure.

But Ian Brennan, the man behind the project - and who spends his time commuting between San Francisco and Los Angeles - couldn't be happier. Brennan is a record producer, twice nominated for Grammy awards, who has spent years working with the mentally ill in Oakland. He said the idea would be to place human-shaped plaques, about 2 feet by 2 feet, in sidewalks and inscribe them with details of the deceased's lives and the circumstances of their deaths.

Brennan said the plaques are not intended to be provocative, but if the memorials upset people more than the reality of homelessness, "then it obviously illustrates the problem really well."

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