Journalists and reporters in the Bay Area are joining forces to flood news and social media with reports on San Francisco’s homelessness epidemic next month.
The hope is to create a “wave” of coverage that will ultimately force politicians to take action to fix a problem that lurks at almost every corner of the space-starved city.
“You will not be able to log onto Facebook, turn on the radio, watch TV, read a newspaper, log onto Twitter without seeing a story about the causes and solutions to homelessness,” the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Editor-in-Chief, Audrey Cooper said during a meeting with fellow Bay Area publications, according to the New York Times.
The move is seen as blurring the lines between journalism and activism in a city that is considered the liberal heartbeat of America. Still, many appear to be applauding the move as it has affected residents of all social classes living in the increasingly congested area.
The Times notes that Representatives from Bay Area television and radio stations, spearheaded by the San Francisco Chronicle, met last month to figure out a plan to share resources and content. They reportedly agreed to publish their reports on homelessness on June 29. Thirty news organizations in total have confirmed their participation so far.
Participating media outlets include The San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Magazine, radio and television station KQED and other online publications like the left-wing Mother Jones.
Calling upon the media and press to take the reigns on this pressing issue, Jon Steinberg, the editor in chief of San Francisco magazine, reportedly said “We want the full force of the Fourth Estate to bear down on this problem.”
On Saturday evening, the Los Angeles Times reported that hundreds of demonstrators marched down Hollywood Boulevard chanting “Hey, Garcetti, keep your word! Keep our homeless off the curb!” and demanding that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declare a state of emergency and spend $100 million to fix the overcrowded city’s homeless problem.
In addition to talk of a “millionaires tax” to pay for homeless services, Garcetti has reportedly proposed spending $138 million to address the issue. However, the source for half of that funding remains unknown. On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown also said he would support a plan to infuse $2-billion into housing for the Golden State’s mentally ill population, funding for which would likely come from “millionaires tax.” Mental health issues remain a leading cause of homelessness.
According to Capital Political Radio, “the Prop. 30 income tax increases apply to individual Californians who earn more than $250,000 a year; families earning above $500,000 a year; and heads of household earning more than $340,000 a year. Unless those increases are extended, they would expire at the end of 2018.”
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz