The real defenders of San Francisco values

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By Steven T. Jones
San Francisco Bay Guardian, Politics blog
May 4, 2009

While Mayor Gavin Newsom gallivants around the country – he’s been back east accepting accolades for same-sex marriage and Healthy San Francisco and trying to shore up White House support for his Treasure Island and Hunters Point redevelopment schemes – other city leaders are doing the hard work of restoring San Francisco values.

On Wednesday, there are two shining examples of this uphill battle that take place on opposite ends of Civic Center Plaza. First, SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi hosts “Justice Summit 2009: Defending the Public and the Constitution,” which highlights the importance of constitutional guarantees of quality legal representation for all defendants, regardless of income level, a right that has been eroded by budgetary pressures in San Francisco and around the country.

Among the long list of respected legal thinkers will be a keynote speech by US District Judge Thelton Henderson, who has ordered California to finally do something about severe overcrowding and substandard medical care in its prisons – a laudable and courageous stand that has been met with utter cowardice, contempt, and pandering by state officials. That event begins at 10 a.m. in the main library’s Koret Auditorium.

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