Sen. Scott Wiener Discusses ‘Safe Sites’ For Drug Addicts To Use – ‘Phil In The Blanks’ Podcast
California State Senator Scott Wiener joins Dr. Phil on his Phil in the Blanks podcast to discuss “safe sites” for drug addicts to use. Senator Wiener, who wrote Senate Bill 57, which would have legalized safe consumption sites in San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles and Los Angeles County, shares why he says he considers this to be life-saving legislation – and why he thinks Governor Newsom vetoed it.
“We have tried arresting people, incarcerating people, and for some, that works,” Senator Wiener says. “But for most people, it doesn’t. That’s what safe consumption sites are about – first and foremost, making sure people don’t die.”
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Meet Scott Wiener (SOURCE: https://www.scottwiener.com/meet_scott)
Elected in November 2016 and reelected in 2020, Senator Scott Wiener represents District 11 in the California State Senate. District 11 includes all of San Francisco, Broadmoor, Colma, and Daly City, as well as portions of South San Francisco.
In the Senate, Senator Wiener works to make housing more abundant and affordable, invest in our transportation systems, increase access to healthcare, meaningfully address climate change and the impacts of wildfires, reform our criminal justice system, reduce gun violence, reduce California’s high poverty rate, and safeguard and expand the rights of all communities, including immigrants and the LGBTQ community.
Senator Wiener has authored 50 bills that have been signed into law. Among them are SB 35, a landmark law to expedite housing permits, which has resulted in thousands of new affordable homes in San Francisco; SB 10, which provides a powerful tool for local governments to zone for more housing more quickly; SB 855, which makes California the national leader in mental health and addiction treatment access by requiring insurance companies to cover all medically necessary treatment; SB 822, which enacts the strongest net neutrality protections in the nation; SB 1045 and SB 40, which expand and strengthen California’s conservatorship laws to help individuals who are living on our streets with severe mental health and substance use disorders; SB 700, the largest investment in clean energy storage in California history; SB 923, which modernizes California’s eyewitness identification standards to ensure innocent people are not sent to prison; SB 136, which reduces mass incarceration by repealing California’s most commonly used sentence enhancement; SB 73, which ends mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses; SB 219, which protects LGBTQ seniors in long-term care facilities; SB 159, which allows pharmacists to provide PrEP and PEP (powerful HIV prevention medications) without a physician’s prescription; and SB 132, which requires prisons to house transgender incarcerated individuals according to where they’re safest (for example, by gender identity).
Larkin Street Youth Services honored Senator Wiener with the Anne B. Stanton Award for his work to combat youth homelessness in California. Senator Wiener was named Legislator of the Year by the California Sexual Assault Investigators Association and California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, for his work reforming California’s criminal justice system, and by the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition and California Building Industry Association for his work addressing California’s housing shortage. He was also named Legislator of the Year by the California Solar & Storage Association for his work to expand clean energy. For a full list of awards, please see awards tab.
Senator Wiener serves as Chair of the Senate Housing Committee and the Senate Committee on Legislative Ethics. He serves as Vice Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, immediate past chair of the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus, and Chair of the Senate Mental Health Caucus. Senator Wiener is a member of the Public Safety Committee, Judiciary Committee, Governance and Finance Committee, and Health Committee. He is the Senate Assistant Majority Whip.
Before his election to the Senate, Senator Wiener served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, representing the district previously represented by Supervisor Harvey Milk. During his time on the Board of Supervisors, Senator Wiener authored a number of first-in-the-nation laws, including mandating fully paid parental leave for all working parents and requiring water recycling and solar power in new developments. He focused extensively on housing and public transportation, authoring laws to expedite approval of affordable housing, legalize new in-law units, and tie public transportation funding to population growth.
Before his election to the Board of Supervisors, Senator Wiener spent fifteen years practicing law: as a Deputy City Attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, in private practice at Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe, and as a law clerk for Justice Alan Handler on the New Jersey Supreme Court. Senator Wiener co-chaired the Alice B. Toklas LGBTQ Democratic Club, BALIF (the Bay Area’s LGBTQ bar association), and the San Francisco LGBTQ Community Center, and served on the national board of directors of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization. Senator Wiener grew up in New Jersey, the son of a small business owner and a teacher, and attended public school. He received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a law degree from Harvard Law School. He spent a year in Chile on a Fulbright Scholarship doing historical research. He has lived in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood since 1997.