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The Great Morgani, aka Frank Lima, Gets Squeezed Out of Downtown Santa Cruz
by Bradley Allen ( bradley [at] riseup.net )
Tuesday Feb 18th, 2014 10:33 PM
On Tuesday, February 18, The Great Morgani announced he will no longer be performing in downtown Santa Cruz "due to the recent strict enforcement of current ordinances" passed by the Santa Cruz City Council.

The Great Morgani, aka Frank Lima, is a longtime street performer and performance artist from Santa Cruz, recognized as one of city's most interesting characters. He plays the accordion and dresses in homemade, seasonally relevant costumes which sometimes take up to 100 hours of work. He usually performs on the east side of Pacific Avenue on the El Palomar block.

He authored a book, The Great Morgani: The Creative Madness of a Middle-Aged Stock Broker Turned Street Musician, which is described as a "photo-illustrated story of one of the United States' most flamboyant and unusual street musicians." He also has a website, TheGreatMorgani.com.
the-great-morgani_october-2013.jpg
the-great-morgani_october...

[Photo by Bradley Allen. October 2013. Trails of Turquoise by The Great Morgani on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz.]


On the evening of Tuesday, February 18, news broke on the I Love The Great Morgani! Facebook page that he will no longer be performing in downtown Santa Cruz due to the enforcement of unconstitutional ordinances passed by the Santa Cruz City Council which infringe on first amendment activities, including street performance by The Great Morgani.

Here's the text of Frank Lima's announcement:

By Frank Lima, The Great Morgani

After 17 years of entertaining/performing, downtown Santa Cruz, "THE GREAT MORGANI", has lost his "GREATNESS" status. Due to the recent strict enforcement of current ordinances, I am considered in violation of where i have performed for the past 10 years, even with written permission from the business owners. During these years, i have never been confronted by the police, downtown association, downtown hosts, business owners, or even city council members and mayors. The alternative performance areas, are so constrained & rigid, that they are not compatible to any type of performance. Rather than accept a hefty $300 ticket, or worse yet, spend a night in jail(in one of my costumes???), i will be quietly leaving the downtown scene. Thank you, EVERYONE, for you support and smiles, along the years. I will miss you all. .............The "GREAT ONE" has left the avenue.

Public Outcry on Facebook

I've already seen so much outcry on Facebook, that's it hard for me to believe that this aggression will stand. This might be one of those tipping point moments where all factions unite to say ¡Ya basta! — enough is enough!

The following immediate reactions to The Great Morgani's sudden announcement reflect the overall sentiment in Santa Cruz:


"This is just horrible! You are an ICON in downtown Santa Cruz, Frank!!! I think we need to protest!"

"You will be missed. What a shame."

"Noooo!!! This is very upsetting. You are the best of Santa Cruz."

"Fascist bastards, won't be happy until they squelch all outward signs of spontaneous creativity."

"This is crushing to the cultural experience we have enjoyed in downtown!"

"Baa humbug! You are the best of downtown Santa Cruz!"

"Thank you for being there for the last decade and a half that I lived in Santa Cruz. I always loved watching you entertain and LOVE the incredibly creative costumes."

"This goes against our "Keep Santa Cruz Weird" motto. The Great One is an essential part of Santa Cruz's weirdness."

"I hope there's something the Santa Cruz community can do to reverse this decision."

"Ordinance and restrictions have now restricted the very uniqueness right out of Santa Cruz."

"let's ....Save The Great Morgani!!"

"Inconceivable! Tom Scribner's saw weeps tonight..."

"My 2 year old daughter and I always stop to dance to your music."


See also: Santa Cruz Wiki || Wikipedia || TheGreatMorgani.com
§The Great Morgani at First Friday Santa Cruz in February 2013
by Bradley Allen ( bradley [at] riseup.net ) Wednesday Feb 19th, 2014 12:13 AM
the-great-morgani_first-friday-cruzio_2-1-13.jpg
the-great-morgani_first-f...

Photo by Bradley Allen. The Great Morgani performed at Cruzioworks for First Friday on February 1, 2013.
Joe Rose, an excellent illustrator and painter who regularly displays his artwork on Pacific Avenue, reports that on Sunday afternoon, he witnessed two Santa Cruz Police officers hassling The Great Morgani on Pacific Ave. Joe wrote, “there were 2 cops that stopped him playing when he had a crowd of about a dozen people watching.”

[Photo by Aaron Whiting. The Great Morgani as Gene Shalit. February 16, 2014.]

The Great Morgani, performing on Pacific Avenue dressed as Gene Shalit, was interrupted by Santa Cruz Police officers on Sunday, February 16. The officers told The Great Morgani, with the threat of a $300 ticket, that he was in violation of the downtown ordinances for performing with his back against a building, and for performing within 14 feet of a building.

Tom Noddy of Bubble Magic fame, and a long time friend of The Great Morgani, says "The Great Morgani has been entertaining in town for 17 years now and he always sets himself against a neutral-colored backdrop. He looks better that way."

Tom Noddy also wrote, "It is my hope that no one even considers the idea of asking that the police provide selective enforcement and allow Frank but no one else to perform with their back against a building."

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Take Back Santa Cruz from TBSC
Wednesday Feb 19th, 2014 1:17 AM
Here's what Take Back Santa Cruz member Steve Schlicht said today about the Great Morgani news:

"I love the Great Morgani and he's a part of what makes downtown "great". But unfortunately, I see him as "collateral damage" created by the likes of Robert Norse, Becky Johnson, et al with their "civil disobedience" aimed at disrupting the downtown merchants ability to present their goods and services in a safe, attractive, compelling manner. When you let anyone with a box shlepp shit on your front door, that hurts the merchants that pay rent and taxes. I blame the "whacktivists" for this. They are the ones who created such a scene about it (and took such advantage of a tolerant community) to the point where the city government felt compelled to make a change in the ordinance. When you foster an attitude of intolerance for rules, good people get hurt in the process. Personally, I think the city should just give TGM his own spot, wherever he wants, and leave him alone. He's the exception to the rule."

See: http://www.facebook.com/groups/SCCCI/permalink/502573336518722/?comment_id=502579609851428&offset=0&total_comments=15

No, Steve, if anyone is to blame for this it is Take Back Santa Cruz.

TBSC member Pamela Comstock is one of the five idiot SC city council members who supported the strict new rules on street performance downtown. She said things looked too jalopy for her downtown: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/09/21/18743607.php

This is another TBSC "achievement", booting the Great Morgani from downtown Santa Cruz.
by Robert Norse
Wednesday Feb 19th, 2014 7:16 AM
When they came for the peaceful panhandlers, I did nothing, because I was not a panhandler.
When they came for the homeless sitting next to but not obstructing businesses, I did nothing, because I was not homeless.
When they came for the political activists with tables, I did nothing because I was not a street tabler.
When they came for the street vendors, I did nothing, because I was not a street vendor.
When they came for the less-famous street performers, I did nothing because they'd never challenge a well-known and accomplished performer like me.

When they came for me, there was no one to back me other than to offer sympathy and express dismay.

The ordinances being used to skewer Morgani (and previously used to skewer other street performers) are the "Display Device" law [MC 5.43.020] also known as the "Move-Along" law and the "Sitting Down on the Sidewalk" law MC9.50.012]. The former is almost unique to Santa Cruz and the latter was expanded in 2002 by former Councilmembers Ed Porter and Emily Reilly to "move along" "undesirables" (at that time, peaceful but visible panhandlers with signs, political tablers raising uncomfortable issues downtown, and--as it turned out--street vendors).

The most recent intensification of those ordinances was created by the Bryant-Robinson City Council in the fall banning blankets, requiring "free-standing" devices, limiting preformers to twelve square feet total, and constricting even more severely the available locations. See http://www.indybay.org/uploads/2013/09/23/flyer_for_9-24_council_meeting.pdf .

Ironicallly, the issue was raised in the early days of 2003 when Councilmember Ed Porter pushed through his "improvement" on the successful Voluntary
Street Performers Guidelines. It was billed as a "bad behavior control" ordinance but was actually directed against homeless people and political protesters. As it does today, City Council staff and members moved ahead with their prefabricated preordained agenda largely ignoring public comment.

The Move Along law replaced the successful Voluntary Street Performers Guidelines [http://buskersadvocates.org/saalegalSantaCruzGuide.html] which had been in place for 22 years. Its full implementation was delayed

Neal Coonerty's second edition of the "Keep Santa Cruz Weird" t-shirts significantly omitted the phrase "Support Your Local Street Performer"--which appeared on the initial t-shirt. Mike Rotkin probably spoke of "coming back to examine the law in six months if there were any problems"--which never happened.

Steve Argue and others were hauled off to jail under this law when it was used against political protesters. [http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/4741/index.php] He got part of it thrown out in court [See http://www.huffsantacruz.org/StreetSpiritSantaCruz/StreetSpirit-main.html and go to April 2004: Victory for Free Speech in Santa Cruz"]. Other well-known performers (including Morgani) did not raise their voices here nor subsequently with the exception of a brief successful protest to defend the right of Tom Noddy to juggle downtown and appear at a benefit for Street Performers later that year.

I remember Morgani's annoyance when I chalked on the sidewalk near his sidewalk performance space some years ago "Illegal", to dramatize how differently "reputable" performers are treated when compared with "the riff raff". I.e. until recently, police have left the colorfully-dressed tourist-drawing musician alone. Now having speared all the small-fry, they can come after the big fish.

Bubble performer Tom Noddy gives his detailed description of the earlier Santa Cruz struggle at http://buskersadvocates.org/saalegalSantaCruz.html .

A relatively few protesters raised the issue repeatedly in the fall as the Sidewalk Shrinkage ordinances approached activation, but none of the "big names" (including Morgani) showed up [http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/10/18/18745068.php].

Without active opposition, this kind of bigotry camouflaged as "public order" or "public safety" rolls inevitably forward. Morgani's facebook page has a long stream of sympathetic and gloomy responses, but no one really calling or, more importantly, organizing to fight back to save street performing in Santa Cruz.

Some of us will be serving coffee outside the Coffee Roasting Company today on a related issue: that of excluding homeless people with backpacks from sidewalk cafes and businesses. Since excluding the visible poor from downtown is really what these Downtown Ordinances (See "Deadly Downtown Ordinances" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/08/29/18657087.php ) are all about, I encourage Morgani fans and fans of street performing generally to begin appearing in the streets to support challenges to this creeping destruction of the First Amendment (and traditional Santa Cruz life).

Morgani and the street scene generally obviously need to be saved. Have we the energy and organization to do it?

If we do not hang together, we will--as Ben Franklin so wryly put it--all hang separately.
by Razer Ray
Wednesday Feb 19th, 2014 9:14 AM
Somewhere back a way when the ordinances in question were first broached I said something to the effect of seeing a rift between the DTA and the commercial property owners in regard to the direction Downtown was going... I think Morgani's 'great refusal', as an 'approved conforming representative' of what even the most conservative business downtown tolerates in street performance just about cements that thought in reality.

Speaking of Commercial property... Now the city, recently embarrassed by a "development consultant's" bright idea about putting the MAIN BRANCH OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARY IN THE CITY BUS STATION has another bright idea, probably from that same consulting firm to redevelop, and build housing for "GoogleBus" people right next to the bus station. STILL not a word about jobs or housing for YOUR CHILDREN, Santa Cruz, as the city ponders building MORE EXPENSIVE EXCLUSIVE housing near a bus station. Which I MUST POINT OUT are normally low cost housing targeted areas due to the hustle bustle and commotion that most affluent people wouldn't pay to live near.
by John Damien
Wednesday Feb 19th, 2014 10:42 AM
It's entertaining to watch all of the TBSC supporters and their offshoot groups trying to weasel out of the responsibility for this one on their various Facebook pages. The needle/ crime hysterics which have been continually posted by these propagandists over the last few years is finally coming back to bite them...just like it's been biting Santa Cruz's poor.

NEWS FLASH: You caused this to happen with your hateful rhetoric! It's time to take responsibility!
by On Facebook
Wednesday Feb 19th, 2014 12:54 PM
"Keeping Santa Cruz colorful, artistic & fun by supporting our local artist vendors & performers, and opposing an environment of legal harassment downtown"

http://www.facebook.com/bringbacksantacruz

On January 27 the group posted this:

Addressed to the City Council Members of the City of Santa Cruz, by the concerned citizens & friends of Santa Cruz:

1. We, the undersigned, would like to address the City Council on the subject of the recent ordinance changes concerning allowable activity in downtown Santa Cruz. The consequences of enforcement of these changes have resulted in creating an environment of harassment, intimidation and discomfort for vendors, performers and everyday citizens attempting to enjoy the downtown district. This harassment has recently included threats of being ticketed, and actual ticketing, for skateboarding, smoking, leaning on city property, playing music too close to a building, playing amplified music at a very low volume without a permit, and vending without a business license from the city.

2. Long-time citizens of Santa Cruz, as well as visitors to the city, have enjoyed the colorful, creative and artistic flavor that street vendors and performers have brought to the downtown area for years, as well as the extra variety of shopping options with easy access to local and hand-made items directly from the artists, instead of having options limited to expensive boutiques or big box corporate stores. We do not wish to see our downtown sanitized of people who live alternative lifestyles.

3. We acknowledge that some vendors and performers are homeless, low-income, or have a disability, and we would like to protect their ability to support themselves and better their conditions rather than making it more difficult for them. We would like to see undesirable behavior, such as aggressive sales, littering, or otherwise disturbing the peace, kept in check, but not legal changes made that make it more difficult for disadvantaged people to sell or perform, such as needing furniture to display, having to move every hour, or demanding permits and licenses that require long-term record-keeping, holding of monetary funds or fronting of funds. These changes have resulted in discrimination against the above peoples and should be eliminated, or else exemptions made for them.

4. We would like to see an atmosphere of ease and fun downtown, and believe most of these rules do not need to be enforced unless a problem arises and creates discomfort. Most enforcement should be on a complaint basis only, with a record of the call available upon request. Enforcement personnel should be frequently trained and reviewed on the use of discretion in keeping an easeful atmosphere downtown, and not one of punishment at any opportunity.

*Please indicate the years you’ve lived in Santa Cruz, or mark a “V” for Visitor or Tourist

and

I also encourage everyone to send a personal e-mail to Santa Cruz City Council Members letting them know your opinion. You are welcome to copy the letter below. Following are the e-mail addresses for all the City Council Members:

Mayor Lynn Robinson* lrobinson [at] cityofsantacruz.com
Hilary Bryant* hbryant [at] cityofsantacruz.com
Pamela Comstock pcomstock [at] cityofsantacruz.com
Vice Mayor Don Lane dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com
Cynthia Matthews cmathews [at] cityofsantacruz.com
Micah Posner mposner [at] cityofsantacruz.com
David Terrazas* dterrazas [at] cityofsantacruz.com

*up for election Nov 2014
by Don Cochrane
( doncochrane [at] yahoo.com ) Wednesday Feb 19th, 2014 1:20 PM
These tight street laws seem to have the flavor of the “Businessman’s Golden Rule”: do as the business person would do if he needed to sell or perform on the sidewalk.
The problem is, he doesn’t. There is no, “Do as I do.”
… And if we’re thinking of tourist money, doesn’t a looser rule bring in more cash than a tight one?
by Trip Weir
Wednesday Feb 19th, 2014 1:27 PM
She's termed out. And too chicken to run for county Supervisor. See ya, Santa Cruz Neighbor.
by TBSC from TBSC
Wednesday Feb 19th, 2014 2:33 PM
The adoption of the most recent city ordinance limiting street performer space and art vendor options in the downtown was hastily approved in September.

We know that Scott Collins of the city's staff said the new ordinance was a response to the fear of there being a "tripping hazard" downtown when the ordinance was first introduced by the city council. No stats were given to support the tripping hazard theory.

We know that council members Robinson, Mathews, Comstock, Terrazas, and Bryant are the ones who voted the new ordinance in. Mathews said it was idiotic to think the ordinance would affect street musicians.

We know that TBSC approves of the new ordinance. Comstock showed her colors in city council meetings, and now Steve Schilcht is calling the Great Morgani "collateral damage"???

Who authorized the recent aggressive enforcement of the new ordinance downtown?

People are saying Officer Barnett of the SCPD is over doing it with citations and intimidation, but who assigned him downtown (he's new to the downtown beat, is he not?) and who ordered him to take this aggressive stance? He's the one who harassed the Great Morgani, is he not?

What about the Downtown Guides and security guards? Who is telling them what to do? They are paid for by the Downtown Association. Chip, their director told us the new ordinance would not affect street musicians when he spoke to the city council to endorse the new restrictions. Isn't the Downtown Association also directly responsible for the loss of the Great Morgani?
by Pan-der
Wednesday Feb 19th, 2014 8:47 PM
I don't need 3X4 feet or a table to ask for change with a cardboard sign.
Let the artists leave.
More room for me!

"Leave your trash/
For the middle class/"
by Tom Noddy
Wednesday Feb 19th, 2014 8:53 PM
TBSC from TBSC, the cops who threatened Frank Lima (The Great Morgani) with enforcement were enforcing a law that was passed more than a decade ago.

It's a stupid law and it was passed in a rush and later not enforced ... then they amended it and amended it but it was already illegal for Morgani and anyone else to stand close to one of the downtown buildings performing. It use to be fourteen feet away from all buildings and then they changed it to ten feet and then they ignored it and then they made it fourteen feet and then they ignored it most of the time and now ... a couple of police officers very politely told Frank that what he is doing it against the law. They were right, it is.

It was and is a stupid law and maybe all of this attention in a matter that involves a popular downtown performer might lead to a reconsideration of this mistake and, if that's the case, it could benefit all performers (and merchants and shoppers) downtown.

Let me tell you why, for more than 20 years, the Downtown Association (Pacific Avenue area merchant's group) rejected a proposal to put all street performers out on the curbside only. The idea came up many times during that twenty years and it was discussed at their meetings ... and then I or someone else reminded them why it was rejected the last time. If a popular performer like The Great Morgani, stands on the curbside of the sidewalk with his back to the street, his audience will gather either directly in front of him (blocking pedestrian traffic) or, more likely, with their backs against the store's show windows. If they are really conscious, and don't actually lean against the glass or block the entrance they will still have their back to and they will block the view of the show window!

Okay, but that's the really good performers, the ones that attract a crowd. I am aware of the fact that there are some performers who are not appreciated by everyone downtown. Those performers are, by law, required to stand at the curbside with their backs to the passing traffic. Some people think that this is for the benefit of the people in the shops but ... these less-than-popular performers are, therefore, required to play in the direction of the OPEN DOORS of the shops where the owners and workers and shoppers are trying to do business.

When this curbside-only performing requirement was brought to the merchants' group it was discussed and considered and rejected over and over and over and over. Then it was brought up and not discussed and passed ... in one breath. They didn't consider it and accept it, it was piled in with anti-panhandling laws and it passed. Only THEN did anyone consider what it meant on the street and, luckily for the performers, it was mostly not enforced. Morgani and others had no idea. Many of the downtown police didn't know about it and some who did only used it against this guy and that guy but not against those other guys.

The new equal enforcement of the law could well work to the advantage of the larger street performer community. People want Morgani back on the streets and he won't agree to the curbside-only restriction. That restriction benefits nobody, merchants included (see above) so ... there is a chance that this one provision might be pried off of the law books.

Some might prefer to draw a line that keeps up on separate sides but this particular threat need not be one of those.

That's what I think.

Tom Noddy
by Morgani is an ANARCHIST
Thursday Feb 20th, 2014 2:38 AM
Catch Morgani for a post police state gig....music from The Great Morgani from 5:45-6:30 at the MAH for PechaKucha night on Friday, Feb. 21.

http://www.santacruzmah.org/event/3rd-friday-pechakucha/
by The ANARCHIST Stock Broker
Thursday Feb 20th, 2014 2:48 AM
Just noticed PechaKucha night is sponsored by Santa Cruz Next....aren't they part of the downtown police state problem as well?

Mr Morgani should realize that when you sleep with dogs you may get fleas.
by Steve Pleich
Thursday Feb 20th, 2014 9:07 AM
Unintended Consequences?

The Law of Unintended Consequences says that sometimes we get outcomes that are not the ones intended by a purposeful action. City Council's recent decision to further restrict the areas in which artists and vendors could exhibit their talents was intended to make the downtown environment more attractive for merchants and tourists. And yet, it may well have the unintended consequence of depriving our downtown of the very richness and diversity that has made us such a vibrant and enjoyable place to visit and do business. If creating a more comfortable environment for retailers costs us even one Great Morgani, the price is too high. And it is a truly unintended consequence.
by Robert Norse
Friday Feb 21st, 2014 6:54 AM
http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb140220.mp3 .
by Marquita Garcia
( Cariyalode [at] yahoo.com ) Friday Feb 21st, 2014 10:29 AM
The great Morgani is a highly creative artist who is literally a piece of LIVING ART !!! He is a Master Accordion player, and a Master Costumer. His presence in our city, and on our central mall, is a gift for all who visit the area. Tom Noddy, the Bubble Master, was already chased out. Are we now going to allow THIS travesty to occur ? I say NO WAY !!! We should all dress up and politely converge on the mall, even risk arrest! This just cannot be allowed to happen! Come on Santa Cruz city council!!! You are the farthest thing from our community spirit I can think of! This man is an ICON to our city, we will not have him forever, and he should be able to dazzle us with his brilliance until he doesn't feel like it anymore! You are trying to deprive us of one of the absolute delights of the Santa Cruz experience! News Flash, do the right thing and allow him to play and display, or you will soon have a hundreds of us to not appreciate as well. P.S. Go to an art gallery or to some live theatre once in a while, you seriously need some culture!
by Razer Ray
Friday Feb 21st, 2014 12:00 PM
Steve, the "Unintended Consequence" is (as someone said above as an echo of what I said in re this ORDINANCE [not "law"] at the time) more room for panhandlers, less room for performers.

Honestly, the people who made this idiocy of a rule KNOW THAT, and don't think for a second that this summer, when the streets are 'littered with panhandlers' (as the SC Senile might phrase it), they won't simply make MORE STUPID RULES restricting that activity too, AND WILL GET SUPPORT from the 'community' (or what's left of it considering most people currently residing in SC are technically transients) because panhandlers without the concurrent performers and artisans to fill in the 'cultural gap' just... won't... look... very... "pretty", and you CANNOT expect the Senile OR the Downtown Business Association to note how that 'unintended consequence' came to be.

In case you aren't getting my drift I think the people who foisted this ORDINANCE (not law) off on Santa Cruz citizens ARE aware of the consequences, and their property owning friends are simply fine with it.
by Linda Hoeger-Thompson
Saturday Feb 22nd, 2014 3:08 PM
This is simply a reaction to the tense time in our country. Our society feels vulnerable and uncertain, so what do we do? We crack down on street entertainers who have been part of our culture for years. They are easy, non threatening, targets, so let's dig up an ineffective
old ordinance to harass them. Do we feel better now?
by Dan
Saturday Feb 22nd, 2014 10:11 PM
Fresno essentially does not. Selling merchandise on street corners or sidewalks is not allowed, period. Street performers aren't encouraged to ply their trade either.
by eric
Sunday Feb 23rd, 2014 10:49 PM
So do we want to become like Fresno? It appears we may be on that path.
Please explain yourself.
by Brxnt Adxms
Monday Feb 24th, 2014 12:16 AM

Love Gutter, a popular DIY percussion act, played for many years on Pacific Ave.
by Lee
Monday Feb 24th, 2014 11:53 AM
If a $450 dollar ticket keeps you from performing forevermore WTF?
by Brxnt Adxms
Monday Feb 24th, 2014 12:59 PM
love_gutter_portrait.jpg
love_gutter_portrait.jpg

Easy for you to say...
We had cop contact every time we played and it became clear that we were being driven out.
My partner wasn't interested in the political statement, he just wanted to make music.
The defiance to law enforcement that I exhibited ran counter his artistic intention.
Playing as we had for 8 years (6 years under the name Love Gutter) had lost its charm when we had to fear police. $450 is too much to risk just for playing music for the people.
by Dr. John Colby
( karma [at] cruzio.com ) Saturday Mar 8th, 2014 7:34 AM
I think the point commenters are missing is that the intent of these outrageous and illegal ordinances was to provide the SCPD with laws they could use to target "undesirables" in order to run them out of the Downtown and even out of the City.

Community Service Officer Bradley Barnett, in particular, targets emotionally vulnerable people — e.g. people with emotional disabilities — to run them out. He targeted Kate Wenzell who was selling her hand woven scarves for this purpose. Essentially these laws make it so there is no way you can be Downtown for an extended period of time without being a criminal. The laws are selectively enforced. They are not enforced against tourists.

It's time for the federal government, like the USDOJ, or a civil rights organization to strike down these outrageous and illegal laws in a federal court where City Attorney John Barisone has no friends and City money can't but a trial victory.
by via Dan P and The Bricks
Tuesday Mar 11th, 2014 11:40 AM
Hi Friends,

First, we want to thank everyone for coming out to the Crepe Place Saturday night... what a show! We were taken back a bit when the opening band dropped off and we were asked to play two sets, but it gave us a chance to play you some new songs. We have been working on our second album, by which we mean writing new songs and polishing up others as we set our sights in the studio. No promises as to when the next record will come out, but we're super excited.

Last night, many people asked when we would play our next street show downtown. The sad news is that there are no street shows planned, as recent changes to the laws and enforcement downtown make it illegal for the Bricks to play. These changes mean that we can't have more than 3 people, can't take up more than 12 square feet of sidewalk (the piano alone violates this section), or play within 14 feet of a building, crosswalk, parking meter, statue, garbage can, etc., or we risk a $300+ ticket for each Brick. Yikes!

It turns out that this law is not new--it originally dates to the early 90's, and was revised in 2002--but historically the ordinance has not been enforced unless a performer was bothering people (or really bad). Last year, the city council changed the minimum distance from 10' to 14', but more importantly, something changed in how the law is enforced. Many of you have read that the Great Morgani is no longer playing downtown, as he violates this law by standing in front of buildings instead of in the street side of the sidewalk.The Bricks are in the same boat as this iconic accordionist; we bring only good things to Pacific Avenue.

So what can a friend of the Bricks do? Maybe together we can talk to the city council about changing this law. Here's a link on how to contact the city council directly: http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/index.aspx?page=268

Thanks everyone for your help. We can't wait for things to change again downtown, so we can come out for street shows soon.

xoxo
-The Bricks