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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Peninsula | Health, Housing, and Public Services
Palo Alto Bans Vehicular Dwellers
Last last night, Palo Alto's City Council passed a ban prohibiting people from dwelling in their vehicles. In a rally in front of City Hall shortly before the vote, demonstrators appealed to the Council saying that the public does not support the ban.
Violation of the ordinance could result in a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $1,000 and possible jail time of 6 months.
At a rally in the final hours before Palo Alto City Council voted on a vehicular dwelling ban, protesters came out to support members of the community who live in their cars. After the rally, during the public comments section in Council chambers, supporters of homeless rights had the opportunity to speak for a minute per person. They reacted with cries of "Shame!" when City Council members announced their decision to enact the ban.
James (Lee) Han, a local activist and Redwood City native who pulled papers for the city council race in that city last week, emcee'd the Stop the Ban Coalition's rally. The Raging Grannies sang and told the gathered crowd of about 75 people that, indeed, two members of the Grannies had been vehicular dwellers in recent years.
James reminded the rally audience that the ban targets the city's homeless population, many of whom work in Palo Alto but are paid far too little to afford to live in Palo Alto and end up living in their cars to get by. Homeless advocates Robert Norse and Becky Johnson came from Santa Cruz to speak of the viciousness of laws enacted in their own town. Becky said that despite all the nit picky laws in Santa Cruz, including no sitting on blankets allowed, the number of homeless has not decreased, and that bans are inhumane.
HUFf stands for Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom
Norman delivered a speech he wrote, "Please, Don't Call Me Homeless," to the Palo Alto's Human Relations Commission ten years ago, and was active in homeless issues for many years even before that.
...included ukulele and accordian