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ACLU Presentation Sept 26 2012 - Human Rights & The Homeless In Santa Cruz California
by Leigh Meyers
Friday Sep 28th, 2012 11:12 AM
It has become apparent to me the police in Santa Cruz have been blatantly violating the law at the behest of politicians and this require having their law enforcement practices in regard to the homeless and poor of Santa Cruz critically analyzed by an organization with the resources to do so.

Hello.

My name is Leigh Meyers. I'm a 35 year resident of Santa Cruz currently unemployed and houseless.

I'm here this evening speaking to you because I saw something over this spring and summer that circumscribes what I believe to be a new chapter in Santa Cruz' ongoing push to disfranchise, demonize and criminalize their displaced workers, poor, and houseless citizens... To literally drive them away from the city and the county, and I have seen no action from your organization at the local or regional level to put a stop to this.

Before I continue I want to point out a fact about Santa Cruz 'homeless' that local politicians and the area newspaper conveniently ignore.

They ARE citizens of Santa Cruz.

As a recent census showed, an overwhelming majority were employed and housed here at the onset of their misfortune, if not born and raised here just to find that the place of their birth cannot seem to provide a general planning process that provides for housing at a price that jobs here pay enough salary to rent, no less buy.

There are homeless people in Santa Cruz for MANY reasons. In my estimation, reasons that are mostly a socioeconomic results of city and county policies or planning without a thought given to existing working class residents.

As a matter of fact, the county was successfully sued in state court by California Rural Legal Aid about a decade ago for red-lining. I relish the thought of that happening to the city of Santa Cruz as well.

What I saw happen this spring and into the summer was the county and city of Santa Cruz' attempt to vilify and criminalize people, destroy services, raid encampments, single the 'appearing to be homeless' out for 'ticket blitzing', and drive their displaced citizens out of the area due to the act of a single person, released apparently without oversight or monitoring from Atascadero state prison for the criminally insane.

That person murdered a local shopkeeper shortly after his release.

The State of California acknowledged it was THEIR fault---he was not to have been released in the first place.

However the city of Santa Cruz was not even aware of who this person was or his status before they began their bleats of reactionary hatred for the displaced of the city.

I want to point out what disturbs me about all this is not Santa Cruz' law enforcement actions taken against their poor, which occur regularly, albeit not often for quite as long a duration or as intensely persecuted(sic).

Those actions have been par-for-course in a city where thirty years ago well-respected municipal judge William Kelsay stood in front of a group of 'concerned citizens' at a downtown commission meeting and stated, to their demand that the street people "Just Go Away";

"But they AREN'T going away... what do you want to do?".

NOTHING is what has been done... except a MASSIVE waste of taxpayers dollars... mostly on law enforcement driven by the lamest campaign of perception management ever witnessed.

What disturbs me now, as opposed to those other historical instances, was seeing NOT JUST the local newspaper, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, attempting to stir up hatred for the homeless as their editorial policy, choice of newsworthy items about the issue and their semantics typically do, but the fact that city leaders themselves jumped on that "ride them out on a rail"(1) bandwagon with pledges to raid encampments continually, calling them 'trash piles'(2) and the people inhabiting the camps, trashed or not were 'addicts' and 'drug users'(3), as city leaders pledged to cut funding and services for the houseless.

All this occurred even as the murder victim's family pleaded with these political and media elements of Santa Cruz establishment NOT to blame the homeless and poor for the random savage act of a single mentally ill man.

This spring and summer I also saw and personally experienced corrupt law enforcement practices and thug-like attempts to intimidate and terrorize civilians. This occurred as one part of a campaign by the city and county to continually cite homeless people, including me, with often made up or perjured charges written as hard-to-defend-against 'infractions' that the city and county should have known would not be responded to.

For instance, I have in my possession five utterly bogus infraction citations from May this year which I've ignored, and I would relish the idea of being arrested under the city-created 'scofflaw' misdemeanor charge ex post facto the city's passing on of the fine liability to the state-mandated collection agency.

I WANT to see a lawyer to deal with these perversions of justice, but I'll be damned if I'd voluntarily waste my valuable time over them.

Regarding my statement: "..corrupt law enforcement practices and literally thug-like attempts to intimidate and terrorize civilians..."

A deposition as to my personal experience with two 'loose cannon' officers is available anytime anyone would care to transcribe it, along with their names and badge numbers. The information is on at least two illegitimate and signed-under-duress citations I received in May.

I also witnessed others being literally terrorized and physically abused by these same two officers.


Quoting Emi MacLean, human rights attorney, legal officer for the Open Society Justice Initiative and formerly staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights:

"...troubling, and less often discussed, is the sustained use of state power to deter peaceful protesters through over-policing, a zero tolerance approach to minor violations of city ordinances and the imposition of a shifting battery of unspecified "rules."(1)


The latter policy, '...a shifting battery of unspecified "rules."', often results in officer-perjured or otherwise non-legitimate charges such as the five tickets in my possession. I AM NOT the only one with illegitimate citations issued over the course of the last three or four months.

It has become apparent to me the police in Santa Cruz have been blatantly violating the law at the behest of politicians and this require having their law enforcement practices in regard to the homeless and poor of Santa Cruz critically analyzed by an organization with the resources to do so.

Please note, as stated below in my communications with mayor Don Lane of Santa Cruz:

"...these city-created ordinances often appear to be unconstitutional at face simply by their selective nature, and enforcement is potentially even MORE selective (ie. Chronic street alcoholics and other common candidates for a court 'plead out', people on probation or with 'search clauses') in order to preemptively avoid legal challenges by irate less compliant and more knowledgeable victims,"

The ACLU HAS the resources to ferret out the truth in regard to selective enforcement, arbitrary 'rules', and other problems experienced by the houseless and poor of Santa Cruz. Average citizens... certainly the houseless and poor, do not.

Summation:

I am here speaking to you this evening because I believe the actions taken by local elected officials after an attempt to perception manage the citizens of the city and county using a deranged murderer as an 'example' of their displaced people intrinsically violates US citizens' civil rights and indeed constitutes, as a whole, as a 'campaign', of Human Rights Violations including malicious and illegitimate law enforcement, endangering the homeless further by provoking potentially violent reactionary elements of the community, and leaving the homeless without the belief they can create secure shelter for themselves... Soon to be a necessity due to the county's absolute inability to house even ten percent of their homeless at the Emergency Shelter at DeLaveaga Park on any given night of the upcoming winter.

I want to know what the ACLU intends to do about this.

What I would like to see as an end result of the ACLU's court action is a state or federal investigation into Santa Cruz law enforcement practices as they affect their homeless citizens and a "Jones"-like decision including strict oversight of the city and county's policies towards that segment of it's citizenry until it has been discerned that justice, as practiced in regard to the homeless of the area is in line with law enforcement policies as practiced in regard to their housed population.

Thank you.

Footnotes:

1. We'll buy them bus tickets with the money we cut from other humane services never mind the fact that most of them are from here and have no place else to go.

2. Did you know that a few mattresses in the woods and a couple of tons of trash are an "environmental disaster" worthy of BOLD headlines even though published statistics show homeless camps are not particularly trashy, compared to the average trash picked up during general public river and woods cleanings.

However I must say... violating your own city's general plan regarding traffic abatement and construction of a 'Warriors Stadium' against the wishes of most of Santa Cruz citizens, McMansions and land development in 'greenbelts', or the distinct possibility that most of the septic tanks in the San Lorenzo Valley are not up to code and dump raw toilet sewage in the feeder creeks for the San Lorenzo River (et al) is just 'business as usual' remaining un-critiqued by politicians and un-reported in the local media?

But mattresses in the woods... THAT make headlines!

The headlines screamed things like "Homeless Campers Trashing Forests".

This alleged 'environmental blight caused by the homeless' is a completely Illegitimate and mean-spirited Vilification of an at-risk population.

Reference:
“Do Homeless People "trash" the environment? The numbers in Santa Cruz say no.”
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/09/18/18722013.php?show_comments=1#18722205

3. I believe the only front page pictures of encampments in the Santa Cruz Sentinel were of already known-to-the-police drug addicts at longstanding well-known-by-the-police places where they camped... with needles picturesquely strewn about. It's called 'perception management' using 'useful idiots'. As Fascists might do to convince 'the masses'.


--30--
Mayor Lane finally acknowledged receipt when I saw him outside city hall yesterday:

(Attempt 2)

Mr. Lane,

As I said the other day... Thirty years ago judge Kelsay stood in front of a group of 'concerned citizens' and stated, to their demand that the street people "Just Go Away"; "But they AREN'T going away... what do you want to do?".

'NOTHING' is 'what has been done'... except a MASSIVE waste of taxpayers dollars... mostly on law enforcement driven by the lamest campaign of perception management ever witnessed.

I'm HORRIFIED at the city's complicity in vilifying the local displaced over the act of a single person who was released without supervision or oversight from Atascadero, and who shortly thereafter killed the owner of Camouflage.

I thought the Sentinel was always the disgusting yellow journal,, but to watch the city go along with them... Lets just say it puts the city at even greater liability of being cited for Human Rights Violations in regard to their treatment of the houseless, and that act of callousness WILL NOT be forgotten...

===============================


Mr. Lane,

I just want to follow up on my comment at the September 11 2012 council meeting (Consent Agenda Item 7, Funding Security Guards) regarding my public comment in which I referred to certain First Alarm Guards as reminding me of blackshirts.

First, I just want to point out I am not alone in this sentiment. One of my disabled Senior Citizen friends has recently recounted his interrogation and pressured search (to which he, in my opinion should have never consented) by a First Alarm guard on the "RiverWalk".

The guard was, according to my friend, insinuating he (again, a senior citizen in a wheelchair) was loitering for the use of drugs.

My friend consented to that search BY AN UN-DEPUTIZED person, at the expense of his personal privacy and in obvious violation of his constitutional rights. Consented or not, the security guard had NO BUSINESS WHATSOEVER asking to, or even implying his alleged 'right' to search this man's possessions.

I have also personally observed a number of other instances indicating First Alarm's ineffectualness and counter productiveness which I will not recount here. As I said in my three minutes the other day "No matter WHO is contracted, oversight and training in regard to their behavior in public, especially their behavior when contacting Santa Cruz' 'alternative' citizens, should be de rigueur lest these sorts of incidents continue.

Here is a presentation I wrote in regard to Santa Cruz homeless policies in general. It was slightly too long to fit into the three minutes allowed for "public input" at council meetings, but at least part of it is germane to the hiring of security guards, and the rest... well you be the judge:

§Further Analysis
by Leigh Meyers Friday Sep 28th, 2012 11:16 AM
A recent brief in a national law journal by a human rights lawyer regarding the usurpation of public space by cities to prevent protests and demonstrations states:


"...troubling, and less often discussed, is the sustained use of state power to deter peaceful protesters through over-policing, a zero tolerance approach to minor violations of city ordinances and the imposition of a shifting battery of unspecified "rules."(1)


Let it be noted that "Homelessness" IS a 'demonstration'; A demonstration of ineffective planning by cities for their impoverished citizens and displaced workers.

Also note that "over-policing", a "...zero tolerance approach to minor violations", and the implementation of "...a shifting battery of unspecified "rules." is currently in vogue with the people who create and enforce SCPD's policies in regard to the city's less fortunate.

According to the sentiments of the human rights lawyer quoted above, the city of Santa Cruz is apparently committing what may later be found to be "Human Rights Violations" against it's homeless citizens.

(The latter policy, '...a shifting battery of unspecified "rules."', often results in officer-perjured or otherwise non-legitimate charges. I have in my possession five utterly bogus infraction citations from May this year which I've ignored, and I would relish the idea of being arrested under the city-created 'scofflaw' misdemeanor charge ex post facto the city's passing on of the fine liability to the state-mandated collection agency. I WANT to see a lawyer to deal with these perversions of justice, but I'll be damned if I'd voluntarily waste my valuable time over them.)

But I digress... More germane is the fact that ALL "industry standard" studies used by American cities in the development and implementation of their homeless policies concur...

Disfranchising, demonizing and criminalizing houseless citizens;

A> DOES NOT alleviate the perceived or actual problems and

B> Costs A LOT of taxpayers money to fund those ineffectual policies.(2)

(lest I beg the point about disfranchisement; According to a recent census of the houseless in Santa Cruz, a large majority were employed and housed locally before they became houseless, and therefore are a part of the community.)

That tax money is funneled, along with the dysfunctional policing policies, to local law enforcement agencies which then act overtly, with media pronouncements of 'cleanups', 'sweeps', against a portion of their community.

The policies, practices, and the pressure of media publicity leading to short-term allegedly 'effective action' by law enforcement agencies have the net result of causing the officer-on-the-street to be even less effective in their community policing tasks as they become overwhelmed (hence the 'need' for 'security guards') enforcing ordinances against a targeted sector of the city's population.

Enforcement of these ordinances also occurs at the expense of police resource availability to the community at large ... within existing budgets.

Further, these city-created ordinances often appear to be unconstitutional at face simply by their selective nature, and enforcement is potentially even MORE selective (ie. Chronic street alcoholics and other common candidates for a court 'plead out', people on probation or with 'search clauses') in order to preemptively avoid legal challenges by irate less compliant and more knowledgeable victims, even as these ordinances and related 'sweeps' hamper the ability of the police, in the short or long term, to interact with and serve more socially legitimate law enforcement functions in regard to the homeless community, which would certainly be uncooperative and very distrustful of the police due to previous experience.

Viewed in it's entirety the end result of strategies and tactics involving the disfranchisement, demonization, and criminalization of the houseless typically favors (solely) the interests of commercial property owners, land developers ... and police agencies(3), public and private, whose budgets and manpower are increased, even in times of economic troubles, again at the expense of the community at large.

All this for policies that do not work.

All this for policies that cost taxpayers dollars.

What part of "unconstitutional policies" (with the inherent civil tort liabilities) and "fiduciary malfeasance" doesn't Santa Cruz city's elected officials and management understand when they spend their citizens money on policies repeatedly proven ineffective, counterproductive and potentially unconstitutional?

What part of "Your city is wasting tax revenues on policies PROVEN not functional" don't the taxpayers of Santa Cruz understand?

Footnotes:

1. http://jurist.org/sidebar/2012/08/emi-maclean-nypd-occupy.php

2. Street People and the Contested Realm of Public Space, Randall Amster
http://books.google.com/books/about/Street_people_and_the_contested_realms_o.html?id=JnVHAAAAMAAJ

3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDiEghBf1Ec (Exposition on Nuisance Laws and society)



"What happened in the Haight echoed earlier scenes in North Beach and the Village ... and it proved, once again, the basic futility of seizing turf you can't control.

The pattern never varies; a low-rent area suddenly blooms new and loose and human -- and then fashionable, which attracts the press and the cops at about the same time. Cop problems attract more publicity, which then attracts fad-salesmen and hustlers -- which means money, and that attracts junkies and jack-rollers.

Their bad action causes publicity and -- for some perverse reason -- an influx of bored, upward mobile types who dig the menace of "white ghetto" life and whose expense-account tastes drive local rents and street prices out of reach of the original settlers ... who are forced, once again, to move on." ~~Hunter S. Thompson, The Great Shark Hunt, Pg. 102; Freak Power In The Rockies

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Robert Norse
Saturday Sep 29th, 2012 1:46 AM

Folks might check out suggestions here for getting some kind of short-term relief and mobilizing for longer-term defense.

Good article by Lee. Hopefully the ACLU will respond one of these years...

Here's a set of suggestions in a flyer I've updated and modified:


Strike Back at Anti-Homeless Sweeps
Sign Up To Get Camping Tickets Dismissed

+++ Homeless Protests at PeaceCamp2010 forced a change in the Camping Ordinance. MC 6.36.055 now requires dismissal of all camping tickets if you are on the waiting list of the River St. Shelter or the Paul Lee Loft.

+++ If you sign up on a waiting list for the Paul Lee Loft or the River St. Shelter at the Homeless Services Center [HSC] at 115 Coral St., then the city will dismiss camping tickets after the date of sign-up.

+++ You can sign up for the waiting lists at 115 Coral St. weekdays 9 AM -5 PM. More info: 458-5020.

+++ HSC has promised once you're on the list, you can get a receipt indicating that to the police. This may not stop them from harassment or ticketing, but will help to document they are doing so needlessly & maliciously.

+++ If you weren't on a waiting list when you got a ticket, ask HSC for a form letter certifying the shelter was full on the night of your ticket. If they refuse or give you the runaround, contact Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom [HUFF] at 423-4833 to help subpoena the record for court & to document the situation.

+++ We urge the HSC to publicly disclose that it only has less than 55 year-round plus 100 beds at the Armory in the winter & a 2-6 week waiting list with no beds usually immediately available (covering less than 15% of the homeless; to give handouts documenting Waiting List status; and to have someone on call at night to tell police, public, & clients whether on there is actually a shelter bed open that night. So far HSC has refused.

+++ Problems signing up? (such as outright rejection, repeated delays in service, etc.) Are police threatening or giving tickets not telling you about the Waiting List option? Do police ticket anyway when you tell them you're on the list? Let us know. Meet Wednesdays 10 AM to noon at the Sub Rosa Cafe at 703 Pacific Ave. Free coffee. Legal Brainstorming. File claims against the City for property seized as “abandoned”..

+++ Contact Steve Pleich (rhymes with “h”) of the Homeless Legal Assistance Project at 466-6078 for help file for compensation in Small Claims Court and to fight back to end the cruel war against homeless people.

+++ Photos, audio, & video abusive police behavior whenever possible, noting time, place, and names. Post accounts on Facebook, Twitter, S.C. Indymedia, Free Radio Santa Cruz, and elsewhere.

Flyer by HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) 831-423-4833 http://www.huffsantacruz.org 309 Cedar PMB #14B Santa Cruz, CA 9-29-12
by Leigh Meyers
Saturday Sep 29th, 2012 10:23 AM
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No. No shitty shelter sign up to have a 'get off the hook free' card.

That place needs to be torn down but I guess you can sponge face time in the media off the the Homeless industrial complex so I guess your solution is always going to be the co-dependent one.

Furthur(sic) Just the other day another joker like you who thinks the shelter is all dandy despite the fact HE never uses it, Brent Adams, was whining about how difficult it is to get the city to do something.

Of COURSE that's bullshit. They're gonna have their fucking "Warriors Stadium" completed in a couple of months.

You need to either offer the city LOTS of backdoor perks, or you need to threaten them.

I personally like threats. Someone made a good one a while back... Much better than this legal one, which Ill recount at the bottom.

Here's what happens after we elicit that change... with funds proceeding from stadium ticket sales the city will Sooooo kindly negotiate with the team (Heheh.... I'll bet the city could be bypassed with a direct approach to the Warriors philanthropy people but they wouldn't move without city permission)

In place of the so-called 'shelter', from the ashes (snigger) housing with work, such as recycling, thanks to a new city contract policy for waste management that disallows the contracted company's permission to glean recycled aluminum and glass automatically in return for a larger contractual amount. Instead they will bring the recycle material to the site for recycling leading to self-funding for the program which will include barracks type housing and meals.

Sorta like working in the Catskills a la "Flashdance"

Fuck your codependency with the shelter. It's worthless, and a continual source of useful idiots the Senile can easily perception manage because many of the people who depend on it's prison-like facilities have drug alcohol and other wide ranging issues that there is already funding and facilities for, but they go unused, or at least underused.

For those not able to perform simple tasks (or even more complex... recycling is just one possibility of many for the new NON-SHELTER) Just think if the funding for First Alarm was put into drug rehab programs and care for people who are termed 'behavioral problems'. The facilities that exist now are a little over-run you know?

So again... no shelter required

Ashes. Then rebuild.

Anyway, it was YOUR LOUD MOUTH at PeaceCamp2010... Your continual mention of the fact that the shelter DID issue such letters as you mention that forced the people at the shelter, under adverse publicity, to circle the wagons and STOP issuing the letters.

Something you don't understand. Employee loyalty to those cutting the paycheck and 'pressure from above'.... Because you've never worked a competitive job in your life.

Remember? I told you that directly at least a dozen times in thew wake of that particular fiasco but You STILL fail to mention it.

Opportunist. Disinformation artist.

What you're doing here is bitching about SOMETHING YOU BROKE, if one considers that it was ever any solution to anything at all.

You have no solutions to offer Robert. You DEPEND on the issue continuing, or you'd have to find some other issue.

Me? I WANT WHAT I SAID TO THE ACLU

"What I would like to see as an end result of the ACLU's court action is a state or federal investigation into Santa Cruz law enforcement practices as they affect their homeless citizens and a "Jones"-like decision including strict oversight of the city and county's policies towards that segment of it's citizenry until it has been discerned that justice, as practiced in regard to the homeless of the area is in line with law enforcement policies as practiced in regard to their housed population."


The other option IS NUCLEAR, so it's best mine is given A LOT of consideration, by the ACLU and their FRIENDS at city hall... Just so you know I NEVER expected the local chapter of the ACLU to do jack about it. I remember how they left the Japanese-American WWII internees to rot in camps. They're 'worried' about "make property return easier' and I'm on "The city or their police had no right to take their property in many cases and therefore this IS a civil rights issue, not one of management and manpower." track.

PS:
Here's the threat I read that I REALLY LIKE:

Let's just call the alternative #809Center
http://www.google.com/search?q=75river

Lets show up on a day when SOMEONE IS ACTUALLY THERE (The vigil day; Friday, is a 'furlough' days... a nice non-confrontational symbolic nothing will result because no one of any importance is available) and:

SWARM THE CitY MANAGER'S OFFICE.

Barricade ourselves with food and supplies.

Force a confrontation with the police. The sloppier and more 'violent' the better.

It ends up on the state and national news wires.

How about headlines like this:


Homeless Mob In California Takes City Manager Hostage


Someone somewhere in the US is going to say...

WTF?

The answer, even as the FBI closes in on the people interfering with city operations, is a federal injunction and lawsuit delivered by the National Lawyers Guild to the Federal Court in San Jose demanding the DOJ take charge of lawmaking in regard to the homeless in Santa Cruz because the city, county, and state, are apparently not capable of mitigating violations of homeless people's rights to be treated like human beings.

...and you know. I won't 'take a ticket' in a stupid symbolic act like the one planned on the seventh (setting up a tent is a ticket-getter at city hall) simply because it ACCOMPLISHES LESS THAN NOTHING. It's simply a 'pressure relief' mechanism for middle class housed people who for some reason are romantically co-dependent with the 'less fortunate'.

But I WOULD be willing to risk a potentially violent confrontation with the police and city officials... Get sloppily arrested... perhaps even gassed or beaten.

Because at least there's SOME CHANCE that it would not be in vain.

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/08/30/18720644.php?show_comments=1#18720762
by Kc
Saturday Sep 29th, 2012 11:35 AM
There are more than 60 studies showing that housing the homeless is much cheaper than police, courts, jails and hospitals. I explain this in an article I wrote in June here: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/06/03/18714632.php

The question is: If City and County leaders KNOW it's cheaper, why aren't they doing it? If Don Lane knows that housing is cheaper and the better option in the long run, why is he backing police raids of homeless encampments and only attempting to house 180 of them?

There needs to be a strong, motivated organization to incessantly push for housing as the solution, not police as Take Back Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz Neighbors promotes. Even if someone wants to go to TBSC or SCN and say "Hey! why don't we team up and actually help those on the streets by getting them off the streets (well...those who want to) by providing housing. This would benefit both of us because you don't want to see or smell them and we don't want to see or smell their civil liberties violated!"

A state or national campaign could be enacted to create a stronger organization with more political and economical leverage.

A person yesterday told me that "homelessness will never be ended. It's impossible." What does this say about our current economic and political systems that allows so many people fall through the cracks and makes it more difficult to climb back out? But of course, these people have to rid of Keynesian concepts and WORK for their income, even if they are disabled veterans, drug or alcohol abusers, or people with mental disabilities (sarcasm). RIP Milton, your wish came true.
by Dan
Saturday Sep 29th, 2012 11:57 AM
....with you about the concept of getting homeless into housing.

That said, I'll relate Fresno's experience so far. We have or are in the process of building around 150 units for homeless or mentally ill folks. Already our local politicians are questioning the cost per unit. If memory serves me correctly it's $170 per square foot. An unit built by the private sector would be a third of that cost but likely would not have all the supportive services that are factored into the $170 number.

The politicians look at the numbers and immediately question what the role of government is or should be. They ask is this something the private sector should be doing with no direct government involvement. Another question being asked is can we afford to build supportive housing for all the homeless in the Fresno area? At these costs it is unlikely we ever can.

Questions have arisen about how the units have been sited. All but a few have been placed in areas that could be charitably characterized as war zones. Most neighborhoods close to our downtown area already complain they are over saturated with adult group homes catering to ex felons and substance abusers-sober or otherwise. They would not welcome attempts to place rehoused homeless.
by Becky Johnson
Sunday Sep 30th, 2012 5:54 PM
klieg-lights_at_city_hall_bybeckyjohnson.jpg
klieg-lights_at_city_hall...

LEIGH WRITES: "Anyway, it was YOUR LOUD MOUTH at PeaceCamp2010... Your continual mention of the fact that the shelter DID issue such letters as you mention that forced the people at the shelter, under adverse publicity, to circle the wagons and STOP issuing the letters."

BECKY: It's not fair to blame the arbitrary and treasonous decisions of hired social service managers on the people who are protesting for fair treatment. That's like blaming Peace Camp 2010 for the Klieg Lights and "no trespassing" signs which Dannette Shoemaker had installed.

In any fight, they are GOING to fight back. That's a given. Don't buy in to their B.S.

Robert Norse is NOT responsible for the Sleeping Ban still being in place. Obviously the past two City Managers and the police chief have a LOT more responsibility.

As I recall what happened, City Attorney John Barisone acted to change the Sleeping Ban during Peace Camp 2010 and added in the provision for dismissing tickets if people are on the waiting list. It was around this time that the Homeless Services Center stopped issuing letters for those who had been cited to take to court. Most likely it was Ex. Dir. Monica Martinez who wanted to take her cues from the powers that be and comply with the new policy.

We at HUFF recently learned that a man was recently given a letter from the HSC that indicated that he is on the waiting list. Well, well, well. We at HUFF have been ASKING for that since the Fall of 2010!!! Theoretically at least, such a letter could be shown to a police officer and prevent a citation for camping being issued.

Please direct your blame-game at those who are responsible for bad public policy. Those who have the power and the bully pulpit. It is not Norse or anyone at HUFF. It is the Mayor, the councilmembers, the dept heads of Public Works and Park and Rec, the City manager, and the police. And don't forget some heads at work at the DTA too. THEY are ALL responsible for violating the human and civil rights of homeless people.

Blaming homeless activists for the lack of civil rights for homeless people is like blaming firefighters for arson since they are found around fires so often!
by Leigh Meyers
Monday Oct 1st, 2012 1:28 PM
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then_we_told_them.jpg

(Also note the 1% of Santa Cruz are laughing at you.)

...for the suspension of 'letters to judges' by the 'shelter'.

I said other things about his homeless-industrial complex persona

As far as Robert Norse' effectiveness as anything but a PT Barnum-like promoter for homeless issues, NOT their resolution, I'm not impressed as indicated in my comment.

by Leigh Meyers
Monday Oct 8th, 2012 11:49 AM
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Still wondering what the local chapter of the ACLU's excuse REALLY is. They CLAIM it's "resources", but the resources that are needed come from the regional and national level, which they COULD petition for. MAYBE the 'resource' that's missing at the local level is "Backbone"... You know... A "Spine".

(Orange County via AP) Advocates: Cities passing rules targeting homeless http://www.salon.com/2012/10/08/advocates_cities_passing_rules_targeting_homeless/