At the end of the 3 PM session of the Santa Cruz City Council, item #25, the Amendments to...Use of and Trespassing upon Downtown Parking Lots and Garages will come up on the City Council's agenda.
This is a law I call the Parking Lot Panic Law (see http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/10/18/18454618.php
for the latest in a long series of updates).
It makes spending any time other than crossing directly through any of the 20 downtown public parking lots (and 4 parking garages) a trespass crime punishable by $124+ fines. Unless you're parking your car or bike, and then you have only 15 minutes to do so. The previous warning provision is gone and the law includes any future lots.
Mayor Reilly declined to put this measure on the evening agenda where it could be more conveniently addressed by working people. She also refused to schedule it at a specific time on the afternoon agenda, so people could know when to come.
She only allowed 2 minutes per speaker when it came up for a First Reading two weeks ago. She initially voted against this law a year ago, but refused to clarify why she was supporting it this year.
Around 4 PM HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) will be passing out some hot healthy vegan soup, compliments of Joe Schultz, the internationally famous (and locally active) caterer, to warm the bellies and strengthen the hearts of those who want to save Santa Cruz public spaces from the dark shadow of the Regulators.
You can also contact the city council at 420-5020 urging a "no" vote. Or e-mailing them at citycouncil [at] ci.santa-cruz.ca.us
More likely, get ready to engage in community projects (call them "protest" if you wish) to reclaim this public space from the police, city staff, and Downtown Association. Contact HUFF (at 423-HUFF) or listen to Free Radio Santa Cruz (Sundays 9:30-1 PM, Thursdays 6-8 PM) for more info.
The expanding "no loitering" net is a dangerous precedent which violates the traditional Santa Cruz live-and-let-live values.