Giving the Cold Shoulder

A cruel backlash is building against the homeless, yet a few cities show that innovative programs can help

Perhaps the best way to explain Antonio Pagan is to remember that it took Richard Nixon to open China. As councilman for Manhattan's Lower East Side, Pagan may be the only elected official in America who is an openly gay Puerto Rican liberal. Yet these days he is best known as the champion of a distinctly unprogressive-sounding cause: an effort to sweep the homeless people from the streets of his district. In 1991 he spearheaded a successful campaign to chase squatters out of Tompkins Square Park. Now he is leading the charge to block radical gay activists from building a day...

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