City Hall shot down a local Twitter provocateur who ran for a seat on a council that advises the city on its rules for people exiting the criminal justice system.
Ricci Wynne, or “RawRicci415” as he’s known on Twitter, has gained 13,500 followers by posting videos of people engaging in open-air drug use in the SoMa neighborhood.
Wynne told City Hall that his social media posts are his “own way of activism” intended to influence local politicians into action, but his critics contend that the videos are a form of harassment.
The Board of Supervisors Rules Committee opted not to appoint Wynne to the Reentry Council on Monday.
Supervisors appointed four former inmates of the San Francisco County Jail and a U.S prison facility to serve on the council as stakeholder members.
Wynne had cited his “deep roots in the community” as well as his ability to reach people through social media as a qualification for his appointment. His social media posts have previously appeared in the Daily Mail and the New York Post.
“So bridging that gap and being able to reach the people through social media and being able to do other things of that nature, I feel like I'll be a big asset to the Reentry Council to bring what we're trying to do to the people that actually want better for the city,” Wynne testified.
During public comment, Eleana Binder, a policy associate at Glide, was one of a number of nonprofit workers who testified against any consideration of Wynne’s appointment, deeming his candidacy problematic and saying it posed significant concerns for the nonprofit’s clients, staff and programs.
She went on to accuse Wynne of engaging in “abusive and violent behavior” toward harm-reduction service providers. Other callers gave accounts of Wynne allegedly physically harassing service workers and clients or haranguing them with Bible verses.
Sara Shortt with the Treatment on Demand Coalition called Wynne’s behavior “fame-seeking” and “acting without compassion.” She also accused Wynne of boasting about “an agenda to join the council in order to take down the city’s harm reduction policy.”
San Francisco’s Reentry Council is a body that, according to its website, “coordinates local efforts to support justice-involved and formerly incarcerated people.” The district attorney, public defender and sheriff are among those who serve on the council, along with members representing formerly incarcerated persons and other stakeholders.
In the end, Rules Committee Chair Aaron Peskin, along with members Rafael Mandelman and Connie Chan, confirmed applicants Jusuf Nathan, Jabari Jackson, Linda Hurshman and Joanna Hernandez to serve on the council. Wynne got no votes.
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