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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Health, Housing, and Public Services

How Public Outcry Impacts A Mayor Previously Running For Cover: Lane Agrees To Interview
by Robert Norse
Friday Jun 15th, 2012 11:01 PM
The violent slaying of Camouflage owner Shannon Collins prompted a wave of opportunistic political proposals responding to gentrification bigots and a series of proposed homeless service cutbacks, criminalizations, and controls. Mayor Don Lane and Homeless (Lack of) Services Center [HLOSC] Director Monica Martinez seem to have surfed along with these proposals as well as continuing their own collaboration with a criminalize-innocent-homeless-conduct agenda. In response I asked Lane for an interview. Upon hearing of complaints about Martinez's anti-disabled practices at the HLOSC, Lane denounced me. The following is correspondence between me and Lane as well as others who entered the conversation.
The initial correspondence with Lane I've already posted as "Recent Correspondence with Mayor Don Lane" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/06/11/18715157.php?show_comments=1#18715476 .

Click on this link for an introduction to the discussion.

Additional letters to and from Lane follow.

At the time of this writing, Lane has apparently agreed to meet with some else to discuss the issues. While I would think that a Mayor and homeless advocate shouldn't be afraid to meet with a strong critic (and indeed Lane has given me numerous interviews before), I'm happy to have someone else address these issues and am working to arrange it.


CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN MAYOR LANE AND EDITOR AND ACTIVIST JENNAFER YELLOWHORSE

From: editor [at] hopemakingchange.org
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2012 06:58:59 -0600
CC: huffsantacruz [at] yahoogroups.com
To: dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com; rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com

Good Morning Mayor Lane,

I wanted to write to you after reading correspondence regarding the Santa Cruz Services Center, regarding disability issues that people around the State of California are following. Here in Santa Monica, we encounter identical issues, and have many troubles with our social services legion who receive block grants through our local LAHSA authority.

I just wanted to address your commentary, regarding Mr. Norse and any assumption that he does "little" to help persons on the street.

I beg to differ.

Mr. Norse energetically and artistically confronts the myriad of problems with people who pat themselves on the back as they fritter away public funding in what they call services while people are demonized and criminalized for existing on the streets.

Aside from Robert's tireless gadfly approach, I have known him for many years, as a community leader, outspoken nationally on homeless issues. I have stood side by side with him on the streets of Los Angeles where he has supported homeless here with voracity and courage. I'm not sure what it is you are gauging his accomplishments by, but I must directly object to your condescending portrayal of his contributions to the homeless movement.

If somehow denegrating Robert shields you from acknowledging Social Services abuses, then your tactics are off base and out of line.

Thank you for allowing me a moment to correct you in this regard.

I have great respect for Robert Norse, and as an activist myself I know the value of what Robert's contributions are to the movement of social justice, where he stands on the front lines in non-violent and direct opposition to the criminalization of people who suffer and survive living without an income. Who are being exploited by people, much like yourself it seems, who profit from their condition on a daily basis.

Jennafer Waggoner-Yellowhorse
Making Change... a community human rights newspaper empowering the poor and unhoused with an income and a voice
POB 235, Santa Monica, CA 90406-0235 (424) 888-0235 http://www.hopemakingchange.org
iEat ~ Westside LIVE Food Calendar http://anondora.org/member/makingchange FB- makingchange.streetnewspaper


From: Don Lane
Date: June 15, 2012 10:02:52 AM MDT
To: Making Change
Subject: RE: Mr. Mayor, I Beg to Differ

Greetings Ms. Waggoner-Yellowhorse

Thank you for writing and sharing your opinion.

I have known Robert for more than 20 years and have been working on issues of homelessness in Santa Cruz for that long myself.

I did not write my letter impulsively because of any specific activity on Robert's part. I wrote based on years of personal experience with him in Santa Cruz. I believe he regularly bullies people and is very cruel in his comments about very good people. I have lived with in week in and week out for more than 20 years. Do you have personal knowledge of his day to day work in Santa Cruz to suggest that this is mistaken?

I also believe his work has been decidedly unproductive. Making a lot of noise about homelessness is gauged by some to be productive but I chose to gauge productivity based on results. I stand by my comment that he has been less than productive.

If you think helping people get off the street with housing, shelter, and concrete services is "frittering" away money, I can see why you would stand with Robert... and why we have a difference of opinion. I feel pretty good about this commnity's work in this area-- and will not feel bad about that work because you dismiss it based on little knowledge of Santa Cruz and the thousands of people who have been assisted.

My comments were made to Mr. Norse directly without sharing them publicly or broadcasting them in any way. They are not meant to deflect-- if I had made them public, that might be a legitimate claim-- but I did not.

I suppose he chose to share them widely because he seems to me to make his work more about himself than about those he purports to represent. I have perceived this as a consistent pattern in his work.

Thanks again for writing.

Don Lane Mayor City of Santa Cruz 831-420-5022



Subject: Fwd: Mr. Mayor, I Beg to Differ
From: editor [at] hopemakingchange.org
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2012 12:40:56 -0600
CC: huffsantacruz [at] yahoogroups.com
To: dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com; rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com

Thank you for your prompt reply.

I just raise points to your answer. Not to criticize or complain, but to challenge you to what you must know to be true, if you have an ounce of empathy for the poor and the social service equation. Because you clearly articulate you care about the Social Services worker. So pardon the harshness of the following disconnected thoughts that come to my mind when reading the materials.

First point is the obvious, and over used, the office of public service, of which you are elected and hold, does come with a potential commitment to engage with the community on a broad range of issues. I would point out that if Robert Norse were a campaign contributor or say a member of your local chamber of commerce you would have a decidedly different approach and mindset on how you interpret being held to task or accountability over important social issues.

It is fairly easy to strip someone of dignity and shade them as having some malintent or motive and certainly discounting someone in the arena of poverty you are not alone in this.
Widespread, across the country, and in California, homeless activists are often targeted and stripped of dignity as the mainstage, avoiding any answer to any question posed.

What I saw, was a conversation, stripped of any ideologies, contained not one answer to any question proposed.
Media is an American Way of Life. Its pretty integral in politics, and so too is public policy shaped by public discussion. Today, anyone can use these tools.

To tear apart those who have the ability to stand and take the time to thoughtfully prepare valid questions, is again, thrown under the bus because he is not on any social ladder that benefits you, your office, your campaign or agenda. Unfortunately, the office you hold provides you with some small opportunity to enthusiastically attend to public questioning.

The supreme ideologies of having degree or value to support a job position, is a purported construct. Many volunteers spend many years of their lives in service. Some of that happens to include reviewing homeless policy, and decisions made on behalf of homeless people.

As a former Social Services Commissioner, once appointed by City Council here in Santa Monica, I too proposed reforms and measures. Some rejected and some accepted. One successful, was a physical write in to social service policy that any agency accepting funds to a non-profit serving the public should also include representation on boards of directors from the constituents they serve. Needless to say this would not have been a success without the support of city employees in Human Services Division, and the council themselves.

One of the most inhumane practices forced upon me by fellow commissioners was - for example the update to the Social Services Contact Brochure that the City published. Not once did anyone ask if I had access to the phone or internet, to be able to do such a task. However, when I suggested that the City's Policy in only publishing funded programs and not publishing unfunded programs was unfair trade policy in creating a closed network of assistance to people on the streets struggling to survive while waiting for social services, I was too ostracized as being not professional enough to participate.

While I was being towed on the streets, when living in my vehicle, I was ostracized for not showing up to meetings that were in fact on the same dates. They sounded a lot like yourself. Dismissive and abrasive and disconnected from the reality that we too can have a voice in the services provided in our names collectively. This is not meant as an insult. Its meant to show you that you yourself, named Robert for the past 20 years in the community, pursuing what appears to be, functioning community activism. Commitment, a belief system, ideals and yes, unfortunately press and energetic debate. We activists tend to take ourselves pretty seriously.

I appreciate your time in answering in the thread. I only seek to compel you to look beyond ego, and just see, that Robert is just a conduit, for questions. Those questions have answers. And you have the power and authority to ponder them. And the value in your answers can only show a community commitment to solving complex problems with complex communities.

Making Santa Cruz a place where all people's contributions are celebrated and appreciated, is oddly not a difficult task, its a mindset pure and simple. Its an every day task, on a person to person level. You really don't have to like him to ponder the questions.

But allow me again to praise his energy and commitment. When I was on the streets, it was Robert Norse, who knew nothing of me, in 1990's, who found a way to contact me on the streets, as I was locked down to the Flamingo Hotel. The Flamingo was an abandoned motel, across the street from the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, of which I'm sure you are familiar. Sold to developers for $50,000 by the City (worth $50k per square foot), to a developer plowing the Ballona Wetlands, and directly behind the RAND Corporation.

In a 7 day occupation, I too, used media to communicate to the public the plight of homeless people who were suffering during a state emergency. The homeless were outside during El Nino floods because the Armories were on hold during actions before Operation Desert Storm. People were being rejected from Red Cross for not having addresses before the emergency. And the cold wet weather shelter, even though it was wet and cold, was not yet open.

Mr. Norse, of anyone in the State of California, called to have the least of us all, on his radio show to talk about our condition. Local agencies anonymously donated porta potties and emergency gear, blankets and clothes. Only one of which was City created and funded, the Santa Monica AIDS Project. Not one were homeless services related. However, SMAP developed a program to assist people living on the streets with HIV with medication management until HOPWA became a reality. Community and activism can combine. Its only in our minds the limitations. That is what our group Side by Side has always been. Housed and unhoused working together on solutions to homelessness.

The City of Santa Monica met a challenge of ours on several occasions. We challenged the entire City Council to a softball game and picnic. It was a great success and wonderful press, and made people on the streets equal for a day. Heard for a day. Without the agency go between blocking the conversation. We also challenged our police department with softball as well. And I regret to report that the Santa Monica PD did win that game. But everyone enjoyed themselves, and had a great time playing the police officers. It did have an impact in our community.

So I only give you these examples as to what we've done here. And by no means is it just me. Its me and a community of people who made it happen. Including our council members.

So I encourage you, if you take a break from Mr. Norse, as you expressed, to rest up. Perhaps peruse great works by people who spend their lives serving the poor. And see if there is any way you might be able to minus Robert, and find answerable questions. I certainly don't envy your position with Robert. However, there are other ways to get rid of a gadfly. Just answer the questions. All it takes is one to start.

"I will give you a Talisman. Whenever you are in doubt or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test:
Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him. Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore him to control over his own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to Swaraj for hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and yourself melting away." --Gandhi

And too, thank you for your patience in reading and answering my comments. You aren't mandated to answer, but doing so facilitates community contact with the Office of Mayor.

We've had a number of Mayor's attend our meetings. And the city often sends representatives and outreach to our group meetings. It can happen. Even LAHSA gave the requisite minutes to the most incoherent. The fact that Robert is not pushing a cart, or mindlessly walking the streets, is strictly tenacity and mission. The people mindlessly walking the streets, pushing carts were once like us. Only no one listened.

And it was your concern over the social services dynamic as good, vs activist bad, that engaged me. We have been successful in merging this at times. Depending largely on the tolerance of our leaders in critical roles in our community. I hope this in some small way, lends assistance to you in your deliberations.

Jennafer Waggoner-Yellowhorse
Making Change...


CORRESPONDENCE FROM CASEY LIVINGGOOD, MATTHEW. EMBRY, LYDIA BLANCHARD, AND BRENT ADAMS

From: Matthew Embry
Date: Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 9:24 AM
Subject: inappropriate mayoral BS.
To: diane [at] cityofsantacruz.com

City of SC...below is a completely inappropriate bit of bullshit from the mayor...communicating with elected officials isn't a social call; who fucking cares whether the mayor feels he was attacked or not? that's a matter for his therapist...its infantile to bring stuff like that up when people are suffering and y'all are in comfortable homes...you can start helping by sharing your resources with those in need unless you're too selfish to do so...have a nice day. smash the state, 100 'til 2112, DJ Matter Embryo

- when i lived in SC for 13 years, y'all didn't do shit for me! unless you consider

false arrest and police brutality something...my info's at bottom; please get

in touch!



From: kclivingood [at] hotmail.com
To: mattkembry [at] gmail.com; editor [at] hopemakingchange.org
CC: dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com; rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com; huffsantacruz [at] yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [huffsantacruz] Mr. Mayor, I Beg to Differ
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2012 15:33:41 -0700

Thanks Jennafer. I can think of three fairly simple ways to alleviate homelessness. 1) Reduce funding to Police Departments and divert funding to social services. 2) Open buildings that have been vacant more than 6 months to folks who need it. 3) End the sleeping ban so folks can get a decent night sleep. Since our local governments don't see any of these as an option, they tell those who do that they don't do anything for homeless folks.
~Casey




Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2012 13:11:13 -0700
From: lydiablanchard [at] yahoo.com
Subject: Fw: [huffsantacruz] Mr. Mayor, I Beg to Differ
To: dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com
CC: mattkembry [at] gmail.com; rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com; huffsantacruz [at] yahoogroups.com

Dear Don Lane, mayor of Santa Cruz,

I have read the following exchange, including your 6/13 letter to Robert Norse.

I believe that words from mayors and all of us usually benefit from moderation. Opinions are one thing, castigation is another. Robert Norse does not work for the homelessness center or the city. I think that by his own choice he would not last long as a city employee if he were one, nor probably would I.

He is a journalist and an activist. I have experienced that those two roles appear to conflict at times, yet lashings-out by mayors are questionable; providing "organizations" for a city resident to "support" sounds gratuitous, and such support is not always an effective way to achieve much- and immediately needed change. That Robert Norse in some ways has not achieved that change begs a question.

The "public good" appreciated from a mayor is respect and housing for the homeless, in much the same way that the city of San Francisco and the Veterans Administration are fighting practically and effectively to get housing for homeless veterans (see page 1 of the June 7, 2012, San Francisco Chronicle).

Does the city of Santa Cruz know how many houseless people who live in Santa Cruz are military veterans or conscientious objectors? And how many are veterans of knock-down, dragged-out battles against poverty?

I have had disagreements with Mr. Norse over the years, some public and some personal. Some are brought about only by his apt tendency to play devil's advocate.

I have nonetheless appreciated greatly his detailed, literate, and eloquent publicizing of so many alleged wrong-doings (some of which I can document) that there is no question that many are accurate, particularly those of the Santa Cruz City Council regarding the right to sleep. "Anywhere". (A quote of Ed Frey, attorney and defendant, in court yesterday, June 14, 2012; he has a home to sleep in, and he chose courthouse steps, with others, to carry out the act he knows is a right.)
I request as a resident of a city of which you are mayor that you work effectively for that cause and principle. If you take up action on this request, my sense of shame at (expensively) being a Santa Cruz housed resident will be reduced.

Contributively, --Lydia Blanchard, psychotherapist, librarian, former social worker, former English teacher, 78-year-old resident of Santa Cruz since 1976




From: compassionman [at] hotmail.com
To: mattkembry [at] gmail.com; editor [at] hopemakingchange.org
CC: dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com; rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com; huffsantacruz [at] yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [huffsantacruz] Don Lane, I encourage you....
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2012 12:28:10 -0700

Don Lane,

I am one of your supporters. I've applauded your many hours of participation with Occupy Santa Cruz, your work with the Homeless Services Center and esp. your Mayoral acceptance speech which laid out clear intentions to work continually for those who face life with difficult circumstances. It is illegal to sleep outside of a building or without permission not just within the City of Santa Cruz but in entire state of California. If this isn't a glaring strike against basic human rights and dignity, I don't know what is.

I've been acquainted with Robert Norse since the early '90's and have been a friend for 10 years. I've seen a great deal of integrity and consistency in his approach to social issues in Santa Cruz. He hasn't wavered from his methodology in the ten years I've known him.

When we look at homeless issues and we wish that there was a more vocal and active segment of the local population working towards agreeable solutions to problems that face both those without safe shelter and those who fear that people will take up residency on the porches of their businesses and homes. Robert Norse has staked out a solid role in the local conversation on homelessness and it rarely is approving of the City Government, law enforcement and the HCS. He has been very vocal as his radio program runs twice weekly on Free Radio Santa Cruz, he has a weekly meeting of HUFF and he participates in several other groups and is often seen downtown interviewing folks on issues. He writes and circulates information sheets weekly and is a regular contributor to Indybay online media.

I often don't agree with various methods and some of the content of his informationals but my support of Mr. Norse never wavers because I appreciate his dedication to unsung issues and voices. He often acts as a contrarian voice that stirs up dialogue when there has been none. His focus on specific issues over time has been the impetus for more attention given them.

He may not be the answer to the problems that he focuses on and he never claimed to be an answer. He may not play the game the way various politicians and community service workers would prefer him to but he has been very effective in keeping the pressure on those same people by holding their feet to the fire of his gaze. The local press ignores much of the issues that
Mr. Norse covers and without his steadfastness, much of what we've learned about various homeless individuals and violations against them wouldn't be known without Mr. Norse's reportage.

Mr. Lane, I encourage you to reassess the effectiveness of Robert Norse in our community. He may not be the one you want actually working on these issues but he is an important and defiant voice on the issues that most hope would just go away. I ask you to continue to entertain dialogue and even to participate with him on his radio show. While it may be irritating to you to do so, it will demonstrate your intestinal fortitude and your willingness to remain in conversation with someone as Robert Norse.

sincerely, Brent Adams



LANE FINAL CORRESPONDENCE WITH ROBERT NORSE

From: dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com
To: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2012 16:33:18 -0700
Subject: RE: Radio Discussion Sunday: Invitation to the Mayor Don Lane

Robert

To this question:

“I'm sure there are other advocates who would be happy to have a dialogue with you if you find my history of activism off-putting and "saddening". I'd be happy to arrange that. Would you be willing to do that publicly, either on the radio or in another public forum?”

Yes.

Don Lane Mayor



From: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
To: dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com
Subject: RE: Radio Discussion Sunday: Invitation to the Mayor Don Lane
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2012 20:40:22 -0700

Thanks, Don. I'll see what I can do. Would you be willing to be on my show with someone else doing the debating? Or are you proposing an alternate format?

R


From: dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com
To: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2012 22:08:44 -0700
Subject: RE: Radio Discussion Sunday: Invitation to the Mayor Don Lane

Happy to spend time with a journalist in my office for an interview. Or in a different location. Also fine with participating in well-organized community forums to talk about issues related to homelessness.

Don Lane
Mayor


From: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
To: dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com
Subject: RE: Radio Discussion Sunday: Invitation to the Mayor Don Lane
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2012 22:28:59 -0700

I'll speak with Louis La Fortune about a Community TV show.

As I perhaps mentioned in an earlier e-mail, I'm hoping to have Andrea Morgan and another disabled woman reporting discriminatory exclusion on Free Radio Sunday June 17 at 9:30 AM to express concerns about policies and practices out at the Homeless Lack of Services Center.

You are still welcome to come to the studio at that time, to call in, or to send a representative. Or simply to listen. The call-in number is 831-427-3772. The show will ultimately be archived at http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb120617.mp3 . The show broadcasts at 101.3 FM and streams at http://tunein.com/radio/FRSC-s47254/ . Since the issue is timely, I'd encourage you to reconsider and show up, since you seem to know how to handle yourself on the air.

In any case, I 'll see if I can make other arrangements as well.

Thanks,

Robert
§Further E-Mail Correspondence to and from Mayor Don Lane
by Robert Norse Saturday Jun 16th, 2012 1:39 PM
Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2012 12:03:12 -0700
From: spleich [at] gmail.com
To: dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com
CC: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com; compassionman [at] hotmail.com
Subject: ROBERT NORSE

Don

It seems I too must take pencil to paper in defense of Robert Norse.

While I have often disagreed with his manner of advocacy, his single minded dedication to the plight of our homeless community particularly in the face of an unwelcoming public that often confuses the messenger with the message deserves our respect.

His may not always be the voiice of reason but it most certainly contaiins that kernel of truth that may lead to the fuller understanding.

Best Regards Steve




From: dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com
To: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2012 10:59:43 -0700
Subject: RE: How Public Input Can Prompt Public Debate--Even From a Mayor: Santa Cruz Mayor Don Lane Agrees to Interview

Greetings Robert

Thank you for continuing to demonstrate you facility with falsehood.

I wrote you a one on one correspondence with some criticism. I did not denounce you.

You chose to publicize that criticism for your own ends.

Poor Robert... he is such a victim.

You twist everything you touch, never failing to make you the center of attention.

I hope you are enjoying your continuing time in the spotlight. I continue to hope that one day you will use that attention to actually do something that helps homeless people get off the street and into a better situation.

Don

Don Lane
Mayor
City of Santa Cruz
831-420-5022






From: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
To: dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com
Subject: RE: How Public Input Can Prompt Public Debate--Even From a Mayor: Santa Cruz Mayor Don Lane Agrees to Interview
Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2012 12:34:56 -0700

Don: Our last few exchanges have been relatively civil. I understood you wanted to restore a dialogue, if not with me, than with others who share similar concerns.

I thought I was giving you credit for responding to public input and showing that a Mayor could change his mind and even though it's uncomfortable, agree to discuss real issues (as you have at points in the past).

I think your position on issues and your manner of responding to rather straightforward interview requests is a public issue. You didn't ask that anything be kept confidential in any of your e-mails. You're also surely aware that your e-mails to me as Mayor (signed as Mayor) are public documents and can be accessed as such by anyone who bothers. I assume you are maintaining an open records practice here--one of the things I think I've commended you for.

You really take all this too personally, I think. You must know that I have leveled similar critiques against earlier Mayors (who have been worse than you in numerous respects).

The fact that others spend more time than is necessary defending me rather than readdressing the unaddressed issues, is not something I've urged--either to them or in any correspondence with you. You don't have to pay any mind to those criticisms much less agree with them (though I think it's worth your while to consider them), but when a person in a position of authority (who can, for example, order my arrest at City Council) writes what you've written, isn't it understandable that some might regard me as a victim or a potential victim?

"Facility with falsehood"? What are you referring to? This is the kind of thing I mean when I speak about "denunciation". It's the kind of non-specific political attack (also a personal attack when viewed in the context of your recent letter)--which gives the reader no clue as to what specific statements you're talking about.

The center of the attention is and ought to be the anti-homeless laws and practices that your City Council voted, endorses, and funds. The relatively minor amount of charity that the HLOSC provides (now heavily larded with authoritarian rules designed to pander to the other bigoted voices) provides no shelter and no shelter from arrest for the great majority of homeless people. Mayor after mayor won't even acknowledge that a law against Sleep is an unjust llaw and ought to have been dumped decades ago. This creates a venomous climate where right-wing NIMBY's and their buds on the Council can get police to shut down bicycle delivery to the Bike Church and where absurd and unconstitutional restrictions against the homeless get thumbs up from the Martinez gang far hungrier for funding than for justice.

As Mayor the Council and posterguy for the Homeless (your choice--classes, speeches, etc.--not mine), you have put yourself in position where you should expect hard questions to be asked and severe criticism to be leveled.

I know I'm repeating myself here, so I'll stop.

If you need to speak to me in confidence, let me know. I don't break my word when it's be given in such situations.

Again, you're invited to call in, come in, send in a friend, etc. tomorrow when I have folks who regard themselves as victims of the HLOSC on the air.

Let me know though if you're still interested in a more widespread and public forum. It's hard to tell from your last e-mail where you stand.

Robert

P.S. This is not meant to antagonize you, but I will be adding this letter to the story I posted on indybay at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/06/15/18715517.php . There you will also find further (unsolicited) comments by John Colby.

P.P.S. I suggest you also consider what has been described as inappropriate discriminatory police behavior against homeless people at the Shannon Collins memorial (See http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/06/10/18715102.php?show_comments=1#18715402).
§Yet More E-Mail Exchange
by Robert Norse Sunday Jun 17th, 2012 8:11 AM
From: dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com
To: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2012 17:15:25 -0700
Subject: RE: How Public Input Can Prompt Public Debate--Even From a Mayor: Santa Cruz Mayor Don Lane Agrees to Interview

Consider this statement:

"The fact that others spend more time than is necessary defending me rather than readdressing the unaddressed issues, is not something I've urged--either to them or in any correspondence with you."

It makes me wonder why you bothered to write all the rest of your letter. You chose to publicize what I wrote. I did not share it with anyone. Of course I know you have the right to share it with others-- but the only reason you would publicize it was to call attention to yourself and your victimhood.

Well done!

Don

Don Lane
Mayor
City of Santa Cruz
831-420-5022




From: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
To: dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com
Subject: RE: How Public Input Can Prompt Public Debate--Even From a Mayor: Santa Cruz Mayor Don Lane Agrees to Interview
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2012 08:07:08 -0700

Don:
No, I publicize it to keep the community and other interested advocates advised on the progress of our communications--which ultimately is about addressing (or not addressing) issues of disability discrimination, anti-homeless laws, and other matters.

If you want something kept in confidence, I suggest you give me a call or e-mail that you'd like to speak with me. Otherwise, in spite of the wishes of either of us, what you write as Mayor is public record. And, frankly, I feel an obligation to keep the record public--since that seems to be one of the few ways to get attention and action.

I also admit that when you denounce me (even when it's not expressly public) instead of addressing the issues, I find that newsworthy.

Andrea and Mia will be on the air today in case you wish to contribute, comment, or listen.

Let me know your schedule for a public discussion.

Thanks, R


§Colby Requests Martinez Protect Hospitalized Lasow Property; Property Stolen a Day Later
by John Colby (posted by Norse) Sunday Jun 17th, 2012 8:59 PM
From: "John E. Colby"
Date: June 15, 2012 3:05:21 PM PDT
To: "Monica Martinez, M.P.A."
Cc: Megan Carlson , Julie Conway , Greg Archer
Subject: Request services for dying cancer ridden man and protecting Steve Lazow's wheelchair/possessions
June 15, 2012


Monica Martinez, M.P.A.
Executive Director
Homeless Services Center
115 Coral Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Tel: 831.458.6060 ext. 2103
via email to:cc: mmartinez [at] scshelter.org cc: mcarlson [at] scshelter.org cc: PLN168 [at] co.santa-cruz.ca.us
cc: garcher [at] gtweekly.com

re: Request services for dying cancer ridden man and protecting Steve Lazow's wheelchair/possessions
Dear Ms. Martinez:

In response to your our telephone conversation yesterday, I am reaching out to you in partnership and cooperation. I ask f
or two things:

To my understanding cancer victim Stan Willis was exited from the Paul Lee Loft shelter today because he was attacked the other day in a potential disability based hate crime. Stan Willis is dying from cancer. If he is put out on the streets he will probably just drop dead. I ask that he be reinstated to the Paul Lee Loft shelter as per my telephone voice message to you left last night. Note that he was exited from the Paul Lee Loft shelter without a written explanation nor an opportunity to appeal this decision: he was denied his due process rights.

Steve Lazow, the wheelchair bound man whose illegal eviction from the Paul Lee Loft shelter I asked Santa Cruz Mayor Don Lane to correct had a seizure about two days ago. He is in the hospital, likely to be placed in a nursing home afterwards. His wheelchair and two plastic bags of his possessions were left at the Paul Lee Loft shelter when he was taken to the hospital. Please ensure these are kept safe for him to claim upon his return, or for others to claim on his behalf. Please ensure they are not stolen, lost or thrown away.

Thank you for meeting me halfway to fulfill these easily doable requests.
Sincerely yours,
John E. Colby, Ph.D.



From: colby [at] docktorcat.com
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2012 14:35:10 -0700
Subject: Request actions to prevent future theft from hospitalized disabled homeless resident of Paul Lee Loft shelter
CC: citycouncil [at] cityofsantacruz.com; cberg [at] cityofsantacruz.com; mcarlson [at] scshelter.org; PLN168 [at] co.santa-cruz.ca.us; garcher [at] gtweekly.com; elizabeth [at] gtweekly.com
To: mmartinez [at] scshelter.org

June 17, 2012


Monica Martinez, M.P.A. Executive Director Homeless Services Center
115 Coral Street Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Tel: 831.458.6060 ext. 2103
via email to:cc: mmartinez [at] scshelter.org

cc: citycouncil [at] cityofsantacruz.com cc: cberg [at] cityofsantacruz.com cc: mcarlson [at] scshelter.org cc: PLN168 [at] co.santa-cruz.ca.us cc: garcher [at] gtweekly.com cc: elizabeth [at] gtweekly.com

re: Request actions to prevent future theft from hospitalized disabled homeless resident of Paul Lee Loft shelter

Dear Ms. Martinez:
I ask you to read the article I published on Santa Cruz Indybay last Monday about Steve Lazow:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/06/11/18715157.php

I emailed you on June 15, 2012 [the e-mail above]

Steve Lazow, the wheelchair bound man whose illegal eviction from the Paul Lee Loft shelter I asked Santa Cruz Mayor Don Lane to correct had a seizure about six days ago. He was in the hospital. His wheelchair and two plastic bags of his possessions were left at the Paul Lee Loft shelter when he was taken to the hospital. I asked you to ensure these were kept safe for him to claim upon his return, or for others to claim on his behalf. I asked you to ensure they were not stolen, lost or thrown away.

It has come to my attention that Mr. Lazow returned to the Paul Lee Loft shelter yesterday to find that several items were stolen from his possessions, most notably as I understand it: his cash, his pain medications (which included opiates), potentially his antibiotics for a serious staph infection on his paralyzed left leg, his shoes, his jacket and some other items.

This is serious since as his representative and advocate I may be forced to pay him cash to replace these items, as well as making arrangements for them to be replaced. This should not have happened. From reports, this also happened to Mr. Lazow at the River Street Emergency Shelter when Mr. Lazow had a seizure while staying there.

Thank you for meeting me halfway to ensure this kind of theft — from a hospital bound disabled man — does not occur again. I ask Paul Lee Loft shelter staff to speak with Mr. Lazow to investigate his possessions being stolen when he has seizures, while he is held in the hospital while his belongings are stored at the Paul Lee Loft shelter.

Thank you for acting upon my requests and replying to me.
Sincerely yours,
John E. Colby, Ph.D.
§FRSC Interviews with Andrea, Mia, and Devon Archived
by Robert Norse Sunday Jun 17th, 2012 9:05 PM
Today's Interviews with Andrea Meagan and her two friends about the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center can be heard at http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb120617.mp3 .

Mayor Don Lane neither came in, called in, nor e-mailed.

He reported had a phone conversation a day or two ago with Andrea Morgan where he assured her he was working on the problems.

Lane's phone number and e-mail are 831-420-5022 and dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com for those who want to make more direct inquiries or offer the beleaguered mayor some encouragement, criticism, or advice.
§To Reach the Interviews...
by Robert Norse Sunday Jun 17th, 2012 9:06 PM
....fast forward two hours into the audio file.

Text of the letter sent yesterday to Executive Director Monica Martinez

Comments  (Hide Comments)

Mayor Don Lane has not responded to several of my requests for action after Steve Lazow — a wheelchair bound man I represent and advocate for — being made homeless until I pled with Mayor Don Lane to correct this. Read the Indymedia article I published about Steve Lazow's eviction from the Paul Lee Loft shelter on the Homeless Services Center (HSC) campus.

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/06/11/18715157.php

They are:

• Mr. Lazow and Mia LNU be immediately reinstated at the Paul Lee Loft shelter. [DONE]
• Paul Lee Loft shelter staff–person Joe LNU be reprimanded. [NOT DONE]
• Monica Martinez, Executive Director of the HSC, personally apologize to Mr. Lazow and Mia LNU, assuring them that they will be able to exercise Mr. Lazow's federally protected disability rights without retaliation by HSC staff. [NOT DONE]
• Monica Martinez, Executive Director of the HSC, personally ensure that the petitioners, especially Ms. Morgan whom I represent and who gathered signatures for the petition, be protected from retaliation and coercion as they acted to assist Mr. Lazow and Mia LNU in exercising his federally protected disability rights. [NOT DONE]
• Monica Martinez, Executive Director of the HSC, personally direct HSC staff in crafting ADA, Section 504 and Fair Housing compliance policies and procedures — complying with HUD guidelines — to be given to all applicants and HSC staff. [NOT DONE]
• All HSC staff be educated about beneficiaries' rights and staff's responsibilities under the ADA, Section 504, the Fair Housing Act and other applicable nondiscrimination laws. [NOT DONE]

Thus Mayor Don Lane has met only one of the requests I made, that Steve Lazow and Mia LNU be reinstated immediately at the Paul Lee Loft Shelter. All of the systemic problems at the HSC which led to their eviction from the Paul Lee Loft shelter have not (to date) been addressed.

Thus Mayor Don Lane has nothing to crow about. Moreover, Santa Cruz Housing Programs Manager Carol Berg has not responded to my complaint as required by HUD policy. I see no systemic resolution of problems at the HSC being forthcoming from Mayor Don Lane or City of Santa Cruz staff.
by Dan
Saturday Jun 16th, 2012 6:48 AM
...to Mayor Don Lane is: end the City's involvement with the shelter. And either pass the HUD funds to the county (whose job is to provide social services) or return the money to the federal government. It has been my belief (spoken very publicly in my writing elsewhere) that no city should be providing these kinds of services. All the city should do is to refer homeless to the county or private entities, and the homeless who can't or won't behave should be dealt with through the justice or mental health systems. Or simply sent on their way.
by John E. Colby
Saturday Jun 16th, 2012 8:44 AM
Dan: your comment seems very cruel and callous. You seem to be assuming that every homeless individual in the shelter who has been evicted was misbehaving. Steve Lazow and Mia LNU were exercising his legal rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 (of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA). Joe LNU, who works at the Paul Lee Loft shelter, was the one misbehaving, not Steve and Mia.

You missed the entire point of my article. What kind of community puts disabled folk in wheelchairs and walkers onto the streets? Is that the kind of community you want Santa Cruz to be? Jesus said that you will be judged by how you treat the least among you. You seem to have a very un–Christian attitude towards people.

Who do you care about? If you happened to be disabled — not by your own fault — you might want a more caring community than the one you propose.
by Dan
Saturday Jun 16th, 2012 10:17 AM
....I don't believe it's government's job to solve every social ill known to man. The current approach (hey there's a problem let's have government take care of it) has bankrupted California and its local governments. I believe it is time for government to return to its traditional role and get out of social services, especially at the city level. The counties are responsible for providing those services.
by John E. Colby
Saturday Jun 16th, 2012 10:37 AM
Dan: you are mistaken that housing (disabled) homeless people is bankrupting the government, cities in particular. As shown by San Francisco's Supportive Housing —

http://articles.latimes.com/2004/jul/01/local/me-sanfran1

— it costs more to ignore the homeless than to supportively house them. Criminalizing homelessness is expensive and it doesn't work — it doesn't make them disappear. It is more cost–effective to be compassionate than it is to be cruel and heartless.

Your argument is specious. Supportively housing the (disabled) homeless will save the government, in particular the city of Santa Cruz, money over the longterm.
by thats corect sir
Saturday Jun 16th, 2012 11:28 AM
I'm on hud housing. I was prepared to live in a bush right before I got this. But honestly the only reason I don't go bat guano crazy on this city and try to turn the whole city homless is that they are being nice to me providing housing. But then I see what you do to my friends and I still get mad. But ill continue to be a good citizen as long as your being a good city. So yeah I would cost this city tons more if u want me homeless. But I'm still upset about how you treat others. Its sad that most of my friends are homless and you just don't care. Karma will get you.
by Dan
Saturday Jun 16th, 2012 11:44 AM
...you miss my point. It is the county's job to provide social services, including rehousing the homeless, NOT the city's. The City of Santa Cruz should let the county do what it's mandated to do. And if charity groups want to assist, great!

I realize you folks firmly believe it is government's role to take care of everybody and provide entitlements. I don't.
Dan: the City of Santa Cruz receives block grants from HUD which they use to finance homeless services. HUD targets homeless funding to cities not just to counties.

So why is it not the City of Santa Cruz's responsibility to fund services for the homeless if they are receiving HUD money to do just that? Please explain this discrepancy.
by Reality Check
Saturday Jun 16th, 2012 10:18 PM
They may receive HUD money, but they use our money to fund HSC to house out of county residents, while keeping Harvey West Pool closed because 'we don't have enough money'. If we have enough money to house and feed criminals (and non-criminals) from other communities, then we should have enough to fund the recreation of city residents.
by Dan
Saturday Jun 16th, 2012 10:37 PM
...you know the City doesn't have to take the HUD money. And they don't have to fund HSC. Perhaps there should be a referendum put on the local ballot, the question being "should any City funds be used to support HSC?"
by John E. Colby
Saturday Jun 16th, 2012 11:28 PM
Reality Check: why would the City of Santa Cruz not want to receive free money from the federal government? The federal HUD money is going to the Homeless Services Center and the River Street Shelter to house (disabled) homeless people. Why should the City of Santa Cruz not take this money and help the (disabled) homeless with it?

Also these HUD funds help the City of Santa Cruz fund a lot of other activities and services, like the Teen Center and to beautify Downtown Santa Cruz. Why would you not want the City of Santa Cruz to receive HUD funding to do these other things too?

Sounds like you don't know much about HUD funding to the City of Santa Cruz and all the services it provides, besides homeless services, as well as all the jobs it creates for locals.
by we never voted for that
Saturday Jun 23rd, 2012 10:54 PM
the city spends $160,000 on all the homeless, and $180,000 on one man.
our former police chief's pension. retired in May 2010 in his early 50's.