Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Doe Fund Raises Stink With Garbage Can Protest Posters

Can, 84th and Third Avenue (A. Fine 9/2015)
New to virtually every Upper East Side garbage can that The Doe Fund's "Ready, Willing, and Able" crews service are large blue posters exhorting Mayor de Blasio to "SAVE OUR JOBS." The jobs that they are referring to are those of the homeless and in many cases also previously incarcerated that work for the fund cleaning streets while participating in the fund's year long program that transitions the homeless to productive, self-sufficient, drug-free members of society. The axe that Doe has to grind is regarding the 400 bed shelter that they run in Bushwick, which the city insists should take in 50 registered sex offenders. Doe is currently in litigation with the city and refuses to take the sex offenders- who could blame them! The argument is complex, but Doe won't put the creeps into their program and the jobs they refer to are the 50 homeless that would not end up employed with Doe. To take things further, Doe insists that, essentially, they will take their ball and go home altogether rather than deal with sex offenders at their shelters. So, that would result in either 400 or 700 "Ready, Willing, and Able" being out of work and support services. So, that is the crux of the argument, for more detail check articles on Bedford and Bowery and Bushwick Daily. But, this brings us back to those garbage can posters. I'll be honest, I have a problem with them. Here are a few concerns:

- Does Doe own the garbage cans that they are using as political billboards, or are those the property of the city?

- Since so much of Doe's income comes from city contracts, grants, and income from cleaning contracts, can you really protest the city on the city's dime?

- Is it appropriate for an organization (whose founder, George McDonald ran for Mayor last election) to posterize the city with messages that could be deemed critical of the person who was actually elected Mayor?

- Are these large signs, in many cases on every corner of a block, even legal?

OK, clearly I am not a fan of turning every garbage can on the UES into a sandwich board for a political cause. That is not saying that the cause is unjust. I admire The Doe Fund and everything they have done to positively transition 22,000 homeless back to productive citizenry. I agree with their position on sex offenders. But, the posters? They belong in the trash can, not on them!

More on The Doe Fund and Ready, Willing, and Able

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