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California | East Bay | Government & Elections | Health, Housing, and Public Services

Berkeley Measures and Dirty Pool
by Dan McMullan
Tuesday Nov 27th, 2012 2:59 AM
Berkeley oliticians try to get the majority to attack the civil rights of the minority.....and fail Dan McMullan speaks at earlier S.F, Rally
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dan_sit_lie_s.f.jpg

I remember N and O. the sitting law of 20 years back The crowd was so big that we had to hold the Council meeting
at the Berkeley High Auditorium. The lies they told then seemed slicker. Today they just say anything, any lie.
Even on the night after the Election Gina Cova was writing for the Daily Cal that Measure S was about "Sidewalk
Encampments" not just the simple act of sitting. Sidewalks Encampments have been illegal for quite some
time ( 647 (J) P.C.) A penal code I know only too well. I love to have on my tombstone.
" Finally. I'm not violating 647 (J)"
But let's be real, I'm too poor for a decent burial.
Another write-up in Berkeleyside has Emile Raguso stating that "Measure S is Berkeley’s
second attempt to pass a law limiting where and when people can sit on sidewalks. (A1994 attempt, which
included lying on the sidewalk as well, later was repealed by the City Council, after initial approval by voters.
The ACLU challenged the law before it went into effect and, in 1997, “a newly elected Berkeley City Council
voted to repeal the sit-and-lie ban.”)
Actually the courts in Oregon ruled it unconstitutional and Berkeley settled with the ACLU when they saw the writing on the wall. And there have been more than two attempts. I feel like I've been
fighting this crap for years...In my younger days getting it right mattered and playing fast and loose with the facts
could lead to a short career in the news biz.
This year they had a Measure N and O too. It was about taking care of Berkeley's pools. It failed. It failed
because where would Berkeley Politics be without Dirty Pool? And when it came to S, the Yes on S got as
dirty as it gets. It's hard for me to imagine how Berkeley's business people keep falling for this same one trick
pony. Instead of doing some real work, let's blame people sitting.....Again!! What real work you ask? I can think of
dozens of things to bring people back to Telegraph. People came to Telegraph for that fabled vibe.One of it's best
parts being it's street music ians. Telegraph should hold a " Telegraph World Street Musician Competition."
Every year. We should close off the street between Dwight and Bancroft permanently. Let people walk around,
check out the vendors. Look at Haste and Telegraph. When Andy Ross attacked the poor. He started a trend
that continues to burden Tele with some bad, bad Karma. These policies hurt people, even killed some. There's
a price to pay for that.
Let us bring back the best of that old vibe and help those in need with some genuine good will and imagination.
A lot of people sitting around are poor people that have places to stay, but they cost so much, they have
no money left to do anything. Why not a program in cooperation with local business that gives these people
credits for time they put in volunteering in Berkeley. These credits can be used to go to movies, get something
to eat. Get items they need. ect. I would also like to develop something I call "E.T. (Errant Teenager) phone
home." That puts kids on the streets in touch with their families. These are just a few things on my mind and they
are not perfect or a cure all but they sure beat the lame scapegoating and negative impressions our business
leaders have been killing us with.
Try getting some new more positive and nice people to head the Telegraph BID and the D.B.A.
People willing to do great things and stop moaning about how bad these places are. Who reading their
whining, would ever want to buy what they are selling?? John Caner with a huge hilltop villa called "Tip Top"
in Sonoma wants to begrudge some poor person a piece of sidewalk? And Roland Peterson has done
pretty well for himself with Tax Payer money and Perks. For What? Then we come to Dr. Davida Coady
(where's my St Michael medal?) and the whole Options scam. On election day Dr.Coady sent Options
clients over to John Caner' s to pick up Yes on S literature to pass out at voting stations. These are people
that Dr.Coady holds the power to throw in Jail over. Options people are the very people that would get
tickets if Measure S passed but they are too terrified to say NO. Just as they are too terrified to say NO
when she tells them they are needed to talk up Options at the City Council come money time and they
were too terrified to say No when Dr.Coady (obviously fearing a loss in her power to JAIL) came out
against Prop.36.
Prop 36 gave first time offenders the option to go to a real program rather than jail. Why would someone
who runs a program be against a proposition that supports programs? Because the City Council and Dr.Coady's
little "wink, wink" is that Options is mainly just a stick to run poor people out of Berkeley. And now today
Options has no problem with sucking up all that Prop 36 money. When I think of sitting laws, I am reminded
of Kevin Freeman. His crime? Being poor. Through the Options model he should of left town. But he didn't.
So he needed some more jailing. Enough jailing to get his brains splattered all over a cell by a homicidal
maniac. That got him off our sidewalks. I knew Kevin, a gentle, generous man. I'm still mad about, and sad
about, what happened to him. That's why I want to thank you Berkeley Thank you for seeing through the B.S.
Thank you for doing the right thing in the privacy of the voting booth
Councilman Jesse Arreguin said. "Berkeley's spirit is better than this law". And some said he was naive.
But no. He was right.
And this was one of Berkeley's finest moments. Now let's get to some real work.


Dan McMullan
Disabled People Outside Project
Co-Treasurer for NO on S
Berkeley Commissioner
§Kevin Freeman
by Dan McMullan Tuesday Nov 27th, 2012 2:59 AM
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kevin_freeman_1.jpg

Kevin Freeman Murdered in Santa Rita Jail for sitting in Berkeley

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Don Reynolds
Wednesday Nov 28th, 2012 2:06 AM
I work and live in downtown Berkeley and while I don't think banning sitting on the sidewalk is a perfect solution, I voted yes on it with the hope that it would spur some of the many able bodied people that I see hanging out, day in and day out, to get some help for whatever mental or physical afflictions they have. I saw a mother, holding an infant daughter, asking for change recently...it breaks your heart to see things like that...and letting them/her just sit there and continue on is not a good or humane outcome, they need to be aggressively steered towards help and getting them up off the sidewalk and into contact with social workers, outreach programs, etc. is just the first step. Their mental illness clearly needs to be addressed, why enable them to be sick? Look at the link attached to this comment and see how much is available to help. The list goes on, and on, and on.

I avoid the Telegraph area as much as I can now because of how shitty it's become...and aggressive panhandlers are a big part of that. There are shopkeepers in Berkeley that are held hostage by the worst of this crowd, as they defecate outside their businesses if they aren't fed scraps of food. I've had people walk up close to me and shove an open palm inches from my face with the expectation that I fill it with money. Normally, I am quite a liberal guy about social issues...but where is the ACLU to protect my civil rights when my space is violated by this type of bs? I can't sit down in a public square outside our building, that my employer's ever-increasing taxes and my personal patronage help pay for, because its overrun with the same loud, aggressive, drunk and drugged out homeless people every day, all day...and those green shirted city worker buffoons just circle around them, steering tourists around the problem while literally sweeping up after these folks. I should be able to walk to back to work, carrying my lunch without being hassled for scraps of food by 6 or 7 people who look like they could find work or food or shelter if they tried to take advantage of some of Berkeley's social outreach programs listed in that link. Your idea of giving them a voucher for a free meal because they cleaned the street doesn't do much but put a meal in their hand, that instant. These people need real help and real options and some of them need to be forced into looking into the latter. You say its inhumane to make them get up, I say it's inhumane to let them continue as they are. For them and for us who need to live and make a living here.
by freedom fighter
Wednesday Nov 28th, 2012 11:07 PM
Anyone has as much right to use the sidewalk as you do. But if anybody should be banned from using it it should be stupid people like you. "Able bodied people with physical afflictions" is one of the stupidest phrases i have ever seen. Using your rationale, you need to be locked in a school til you learn language skills, logic, and the US Constitution.