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Indybay Feature
Wed Oct 27 2010
SF Artists Seize Billboards to Defeat Prop L
Sit/Lie Posse Replaces Ads Throughout San Francisco to Defeat Prop L
A week before the November 2nd elections, a group of artists liberated six San Francisco billboards and sixty bus shelter ads to defeat Proposition L, a ballot measure that would ban sitting on the sidewalk. The group, calling itself the Sit/Lie Posse, replaced ads throughout the city with handmade prints rendered in the style of corporate advertising. Confronting the backers of the proposition, the posse lavished attention on sites around City Hall, the Chronicle, the Haight-Ashbury district and many other neighborhoods.

A spokesperson for the group, Jim Rawley, said, “Mayor Newsom put this issue on the ballot to boost conservative votes for the Board of Supervisors. We seized his strategy and reversed it, using our ads to turn out progressives in poor neighborhoods threatened by sit/lie.”

Mayor Gavin Newsom, Police Chief George Gascon and Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius have been the driving force behind Prop L along with a small, but vocal, group of merchants. This alliance has centered on Haight Street where merchants seek to increase tourist traffic and ban homeless youth from the former epicenter of 1960s counter culture. The measure would make it a crime to sit or lie on any San Francisco sidewalk between 7am and 11pm, punishable by up to $500 in fines and a 30-day jail sentence.

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