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Together Santa Cruz Divides
by Sylvia
Friday Mar 22nd, 2013 2:51 PM
The Declaration of a Safe Santa Cruz County scapegoats by putting on an equal level disability and crime “ ... public safety - including crime and [disability].” And there's a refusal so far to delete the prejudicial wording.
About the Together Declaration:

This Declaration is reacting to Take Back Santa Cruz and mimicking the national polarizing agenda. It looks very nice and has laudable goals. Except - it scapegoats by putting on an equal level disability and crime “ public safety - including crime and [disability].”.

I thought this was a counter to TBSC … Now, because of the refusal so far to delete the scapegoating, I think it's could be a ruse to implement forced treatment. Because the phrase “untreated mental illness” is the language of forced medication advocates. And there are four bills pending in Sacramento.

In February, the UN categorized forced treatment based on disability as torture, a basic human rights violation.

A Google search returns NAMI and TAC as the first two hits for “untreated mental illness”. For some background, read how “untreated” become a meme - no science, determined focus and lots and lots of money.

Despite the stated intent of the Declaration to “work together in transparent … collaboration “, the email replies from togetherscc [at] are sluggish and anonymous; the website registry is “WhoisMind Privacy”, the domain is a dot com not a dot org suggesting an intent for profit. And I have so far asked 6 of the 22 leaders listed who did the draft. They don't know. So that doesn't seem like transparency. Or accountability.

Here's the full scapegoating phrase which could so easily just be deleted: “ … public safety - including crime such as gun violence and theft, and social issues such as drug abuse, homelessness, and untreated mental-illness.”

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Razer Ray
Friday Mar 22nd, 2013 8:04 PM
Here's what I wrote to a friend and have commented on the points at, dast I say... (Dast! Dast!) the Santa Cruz Senile's comment system that refreshes the page for no apparent reason destroying a number of comments I was in the process of writing. But I still got a few in:

[...]Could the Fascists be losing control of their "Dirty Filthy Feces Needle Dropping Homeless People" narrative? A cage match between Take Back Santa Cruz and Together for a Safe Santa Cruz County. Crypto-Fascists Vs. "The Poverty Pimps".

Still no one mentions a livable city with a job and housing market controlled by the city in the interest of it's citizens instead of being pimped off to the UC Regents.[...]
by ren tin tin
Friday Mar 22nd, 2013 8:16 PM
I can talk with you about the meeting that I attended last tuesday.
I won't go into details here. It isn't some cryptic cabal of lefty or rightwing strategists.
They are a few non-profit and Social services folks mixed with a few RCNV types and one city council member for good measure. They are about to host 3 local forums on local public safety issues. I think the petition was really a rallying device to get people's contact info more that it is a real statement of purpose.

I doubt I'll attend again because it is a fairly obvious path they're choosing.. the safe centrist political bet. which is quite a snore.
by Sylvia
Saturday Mar 23rd, 2013 9:38 AM
Ren Tin Tin, I would like to talk with you. But I don't know who you are. If you know how to get in touch with me, please do. I think land line would be best for this conversation. I thought at first this Declaration was naive and benign. But I've treated my exchanges first graciously and then not so much to explain that the opposite of “untreated mental illness” is not treatment. The opposite of “untreated mental illness” is court-ordered anti-psychotic medication.

“Untreated mental illness” is a lobbying slogan and like many slogans means something other than what it might seem. TogetherForASafeSantaCruzCounty's language includes the lobbylist lingo for shifting state money from voluntary to treatment without consent – there are four bills pending now in Sacramento.

Since there is insistence on using those words when it would be so easy to delete the whole phrase, it seems to me there are other motives. I think this is Declaration is just as polarizing as the other angry factions. And exclusive - no one admits to authorship.

by Seriously
Saturday Mar 23rd, 2013 9:26 PM
You're either posting so cryptically or you're so paranoid that your concern isn't making sense to me. Could you repost it in the simplest of terms? What is your fear of the petition?
by Robert Norse
Sunday Mar 24th, 2013 12:06 AM
I think Sylvia is concerned with the Laura's Law crew, who want to impose psychiatric drugs on people without their consent. She worries that the language re: "untreated mental illness' replicates that being used in state legislation which beefs up police powers to force folks to "take their pills". Court-ordered psychiatric drugging or "needles on wheels" is how some refer to it.

Sylvia, can you specify what these bills are and where they're at in the legislative process?

Thanks for the alert.

I also second Razortongue Ray's concern that the Lane-Posner petition is simply adopting the terminology and bogus "public safety" concerns of the Take Over Santa Cruz crew. Housing, jobs, civil rights are the needs. However I don't think that removing the HLOSC's twice-daily meals and laundry facilities is going to help either.

I'll be discussing this issue with former Homeless (Lack of) Services Center director Doug Loisel later today at 10 AM on Free Radio Santa Cruz. at 101.1 FM and .

On an irrelevant (but important) note, is anyone else having trouble using the Search function on this website? I've found it's completely dead, that is, leads to zero results no matter what you put in. Can anyone resuscitate this patient?
by Sylvia
Sunday Mar 24th, 2013 9:48 AM
Seriously, you are right I am being too cryptic. And leaping in without providing background. Usually I am concise and on point. I feel blind-sided by this declaration and have been sending scattershot responses in an effort to raise consciousness and my postings reflect that lack of discipline. And thank you Robert for explaining more.

My understanding is that this petition was to counter TBSC's agenda, yet the message is the message of conservative groups - shun the undesirables, 'untreated mental illness', and instill anxiety and fear with the safety meme.

The messaging - framing safety as the lead issue, does just what TBSC does, instill fear, and leads to huddling together in exclusive spaces, and othering.  Promising safety can only fail  -- there are always risks.  Always.  Educating about risk, understanding risk would create a more informed electorate.

Framing untreated mental illness as a concern recapitulates the false link between mental illness and violence, suggests that treatment works despite article after article about psychiatric conflict of interest and pharmaceutical misconduct and medication effects - shorter life expectancies, diabetes, obesity, ... will build a barrier to seeking help. Of course treatment works, but the opposite of "untreated mental illness" is court-ordered medication - this is a campaign slogan! Like much rhetoric it doesn't mean what it seems to.

I would have preferred to speak directly to the declaration authors – no one seems to know who they are, “leaders” is what I've been told. It would have seemed so easy to just delete the whole offensive phrase. And since it isn't deleted, I have allowed myself to believe that there are reasons to keep it in and since I know that “untreated mental illness” is campaign lingo for assisted outpatient treatment, which means court-ordered medication. When I do a Google search for “untreated mental illness” the first two hits are TAC and NAMI, proponents of helping their loved ones in this way.

I'm wanting to write something about risk and fear – I have sentences but not a flowing paragraph yet.

Here are four bills I know about, I think there is also a fifth. I did not look up the status. I have been told that the California Mental Health Directors Association does not support moving MHSA money to Laura's Law. I do know that TAC endorses these bills. I expect I'll get more email about the legislation.

SB 585 (Steinberg/Correa) clarifies Mental Health Services Act (MHSA/ Prop 63) funds may be used by counties to implement Laura's Law.
SB 664 (Yee/ Wolk) states counties may implement Laura's Law bypassing County Boards of Supervisors
AB1265 (Conway along with Achadjian/Beth Gaines/Gorel/ Hagman/Harkey/ Morrell) doubles forced medication period.
AB 1367 (Mansoor along with Achadjian/ Alle/ Conway/Beth Gaines/Gorel/ Hagma/ Harkey/ Morrell). Like SB 585 (but using different language ) it clarifies that voluntary MHSA funds may be used to implement Laura's Law forced medication.
by Razer Ray
Sunday Mar 24th, 2013 9:15 PM
Sylvia: "Of course treatment works, but the opposite of "untreated mental illness" is court-ordered medication..."

A LOT of the acting out behavior I see downtown is related to medication side effects typically un-checked until the police intervene or the person shows up at their next therapy appointment acting a mess. A few years ago they must have been handing out a new pill to women. Over the period of a month or so I saw at least 3 women I know by sight (and was somewhat familiar with their odd behaviors) literally growling and snarling like animals at people.

If it was just one person I might have suspected some other causation, but three people whose behavior I was aware of exhibited exactly the same ...symptoms, made me consider a reaction to a new medication.

Last night in front of Betty's Burgers there was a rather neatly dressed guy who looked like a construction worker hollering into his cell phone: "I'm not gonna fold another goddamn American flag!" and other less intelligible things until the police showed up, discerned he was drunk, and took him to the tank. My guess from what he said is he's a veteran having problems.

After all there are only so many job descriptions where one might be folding American flags a lot, and military funerals are the only one that immediately comes to mind.

The meme that 'homeless' people have more of a tendency to that sort of behavior may be correct but the sequence of events is that they're homeless BECAUSE of those behavioral problems, and truth be told that cohort IS NOT the only group that acts out on a public street downtown. Besides the scene describe above I saw a very nicely dressed (Saks 5th avenue style) middle age woman downtown a few years ago start hollering at people early one morning in front of the Coffee Roasting Company for no apparent reason.

I could probably think of other incidents like this but those two are illustrative enough.

by Robert Norse
Sunday Mar 24th, 2013 9:26 PM
Sylvia--I think you hit the nail head on by pointing out that the false "public safety" issue raised by Take Over Santa Cruz (as I call them) targeting the homeless community, those labeled "mentally ill", and hard drug shooters.

What they're really taking aim at is a culture of relative tolerance and enlightenment that has been struggling to be born (or at least not to be snuffed) as the area gentrifies and more and more money is shoveled at reactionary police, prisons, and other punitive institutions. It's getting hard to argue "reefer madness" these days, so pulling out the "needle menace" and dragging in "environmental abuse", "enabling the bad homeless" allows the worst City Council in years to take seriously the hysteria and special pleading of groups that want to go even further to criminalize homeless people.

As one prescient activist at the latest Occupy Santa Cruz meeting Saturday put it, we don't want to start arguing their (phony agenda). Rather return to a clear focus on the need for the obvious: housing, meaningful work, health care, restoration of civil liberties, local community control of banks and insurance companies, and exposure of prisons, pharmaceuticals, and prosecution to terrify and cow the public.

This weak-kneed and vague petition plays into the legitimate concerns that angry community members have--about bureaucrats protecting themselves, not addressing the real problems (no trash pickups, inadequate money to needle disposal, an endless pointless self-perpetuating Drug War, bureaucratic doubletalk, police priorities making them money guards for a merchant homeless-free Pacific Avenue, rather than, real public safety concerns--putting real crimes like assault and rape first.

Keep us posted on the progress of those "Needles on Wheels" bills (speaking of dangerous needles).

by Leigh Meyers
Monday Mar 25th, 2013 6:27 AM
The most recent comment at the Senile's article (Monday morning 3/25/2013, Cesar Chavez Day), and my response:

[...] Jim Levy:

Take Back Santa Cruz in the New York Times. How about them apples?

Leigh Meyers:

I'm from New York. They're laughing at you like the vicious provincial fools you are.

Did you know that NYC made a smoking law for their parks. When I heard that I laughed and thought "Oh yeah! Their union's REALLY going to like the idea of them having an even BIGGER target on their backs."

Indeed. In the first three months the ordinance was in effect the NYPD (Not YOUR Police Department) issued 1 (that's ONE) ticket... to someone who DEMANDED they write one, to apparently test the law.

TBSC crows about themselves without realizing how ugly they look to the rest of the world, and honestly, they look like vicious fools to most of the residents of Santa Cruz too.

Good luck in your nationally publicized future Fascists. Do you KNOW how many relatives of victims of the Nazi regime live in New York, and what they visualize when they hear about the likes of TBSC? The same thing the fellow who owned Morris-Abrams thought when the "Code Blue" goons hit him up for their thugging operation. Just before he dropped the dime to call the State Attorney.

Btw, the code blue SCPD goons knew local kids like them were an "issue"...Billy Pinnino and Gabe Butterfield, two local-before-anyone used-the-words East Side/West Side kids who were part of a teen burglary ring at the time were in their thug sights as well as street people and travelers.

Eco's Eternal Fascism: 14 ways of looking at a Blackshirt.

The 14 things that signify a Fascist organization... TBSC exhibits ALL 14 traits, and they're proud of it.

Point 6 is telling:

6. Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration.

That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups. In our time, when the old "proletarians" are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority. [...]

The Modern World piece linked above is an excerpt of Eco's treatise. Youtube has an audio version in full.
by Sylvia
Monday Mar 25th, 2013 9:00 AM
I agree with Robert about reactive messaging - it lets the other side set the agenda ... It's far stronger to stay on message and with one's own vocabulary.

That's a lot of what so distresses me about the divisiveness of the Together campaign.

I like to use 'rise above' language, simple words ... I'm trying to work this language out better - I posted here:

Thank you for the comments.
by Leigh Meyers
Monday Mar 25th, 2013 11:22 AM
The word is responding NOT reacting Sylvia. TBSC is a crypto-Fascist front for the city's property development interests (moreso than the merchants) founded by a twice convicted Bank Frauder and I'm RESPONDING to them with vitriol and hatred.

Tough. Love.

It's really that simple. Just because these freaks developed a following of mortally terrified pseudo-affluent middle class people who aren't aware of that agenda in NO WAY makes the organization any less fascist or dangerous. Read Eco. I posted the link.

"Yuppies don't want to live in your neighborhood... They want to live in THEIR neighborhood where you USED TO live." The social class TBSC has attracted is inherently sociopathic.

Don't EVER forget that while the city and county officials lie to your face about "Working With You" on any given issue. The leadership of TBSC is no diferent. They HAVE NO INTEREST in 'working with you'

That CERTAINLY includes the newest progressive darling electee Micah Posner "Pedal Power Boy", who sold out every bicycle rider in Santa Cruz by allowing the city to circumvent the county's requirement for a bike lane on Mission Street as required on every road in the county, no matter how small (I had a friend who lived on a TINY private road in South County. When the road association attempted to sell the road to the county they were refused due to lack of a bike lane).

His sell out, allowing the city to create a de facto limited access road on Mission Street, has caused every homeless person, can collector, transgender, or anyone who doesn't look 'normal' to ride through VERY GENTRIFIED neighborhoods leading to neighborhood watch people potentially calling the police on the passage of any person who 'looks like they don't belong in the neighborhood'.

Thanks A LOT Micah. For proving my long standing belief you're just a two-faced weasel and a sell out like all the other so-called 'progressives' of Santa Cruz
by G
Monday Mar 25th, 2013 5:59 PM
As Sylvia pointed out; forced medication, via biased diagnosis, is a real problem, and a serious encrouchment on individual rights.

Flipping perspectives (often a useful exercise); what happens when the diagnosis, and medication, regime is altered? Let's say, for arguments sake, that TBSC is diagnosed with serious emotional and mental illnesses (given the societal impact of *pathy, this isn't as big a leap as it might seem) and were required to medicate. What medicines might help them reform their minds?

Perhaps that is why certain substances are so persecuted (by certain power structures)...
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Mar 26th, 2013 9:47 AM
Yesterday at the Red Church's Monday evening meal, I did my usual interviewing of folks.

A number of neural reports (i.e. police haven't been harassing as much as usual).

However a major report involves an incident at the City Parking Lot across from the Elm St. Mission and the Cafe Pergolesi last week when somewhewre between 6 and 10 squad cars reportedly corralled and ticketed a dozen or so people (I have the impression they were counterculture/traveller/homeless-looking or just perhaps economic underclass folks). And ticketed them to stop a hackeysack game some of them were playing. The charge: the old Parking Lot Panic law--MC 9.64.020 ("Trespass" on a public parking lot--the law that makes it illegal to be in a parking lot unless you're walking directly through or parking or retrieving your vehicle). I received at least three independent angry reports on this.

Another report was of Sam-I-Am (both directly from him and from upset companions earlier) being assaulted by four men who seemed in the troll-busting mode because what they said was "I want your hat" (a humiliation ritual) and they refused to give it to them. He was assaulted with a skateboard, and hospitalized with a fractured spine--or so he said as he stood in line at the meal in some apparent pain (but without, he said, adequate pain medication from Dominican).

A third report was of a man (who wished to remain anonymous) flying a sign out at the Mission St. Safeway. First three youths spat on him as they drove by. Then a guy stopped. He went over thinking it was perhaps a food donation or somesuch. The guy reportedly ostentatiously got out of his car, took out his cell phone and loudly announce he was calling the police and reporting that the homeless man was kicking his car. He then demanded the homeless man leave (or "leave town", not sure which) according to this report.

Two women lying on the beach during the day were told by a security guard that they had been there "too long" and "had to leave" by their report or he would "call the police". Or so they said.

And then there was the incident I witnessed on Friday night right outside Andy's Auto on Pacific: The daughter of Shalom Compst and Marilyn Dreampeace, a woman in her 40's, walked across Pacific Avenue from the Metro bus side to near where I was standing. A police officer came up to her and demanded to know why she'd done that.

It is not illegal to cross Pacific Avenue anywhere between Laurel St. and the Town Clock unless (a) you are obstructing a vehicle, or (b) the police have set up a traffic-controlled intersection with a stoplight or traffic cop. Such has been my undertanding as a person who has weathered jaywalking tickets in the past.

He gave her a $100-200 jaywalking ticket anyway in spite of her pleas.

Had I known this was a jaywalking ticket as it was being written, I would have so announced it to each passerby and asked them to stop and wait as witnesses (though it was dark and around 8:30 at night). One can write this off to nubie officer ignorance or over-zealotry (I didn't recognize the cop, whose name I was told was Clauer or something like that).

I also received a report from Billy Q that a recent Grant Street park public meeting had homeless people driven away by police last week. The TBSC website describes the homeless-free event favorably at /. This abusive exclusionary process replicates what happened at the Sharon Collins memorial last summer at San Lorenzo Park. And if the account is accurate, the SCPD or officers of same, are direct agents.

It could be I'm getting lifted by the hysteria of the times around these incidents, but they seem to be growing more serious and more numerous: vigilante, security guard, and police harassment and actual threats and assaults.

There's a "Families First" march today from Harvey West to City Hall for 5 PM according to the TBSC website.[See ]. Since there's no evening City Council meeting (only one at 3 PM and supposedly one at 5 PM for Oral Communication), it appears Families First--which I'm assuming is a TBSC-front group--is planning to ignore the politicians, who surf the waves of the moment, and mobilize homeless-haters, fearful-neighbors, frustrated workers, and gentrification gurus from all around the town to create an even more powerful lobbying group.

I'll be at the 5 PM City Council Oral Communications (2 minutes and shut up)--which may be held significantly earlier since there doesn't seem to be that much on the afternoon agenda. And then covering the TBSC (which I've taken to calling Take Over Santa Cruz) march for FRSC and to voice my own views.

Please post reports of any incidents you experience or witness. Video and audio are particularly helpful (sorry I don't have much). I did play the Jaywalking incident on Free Radio on Sunday. It's archived on the HUFF website if you search through the 3-24 show towards the end, but I'll post its location more clearly on the descriptions section soon.

Include time, place, names and descriptions, dialogue overheard, step-by-step account, etc. if you have any of these details. The more specific the better.
by Razer Ray
Tuesday Mar 26th, 2013 12:05 PM
The last I knew (and I learned this from state DOT training for a class A licence).

You can cross a street in a straight line from curb to curb as long as you DO NOT interfere with a vehicle in the roadway... That means the car SHOULD NOT have to even slow down. You CANNOT wander in the street though. To put it another way... Point A > Point B without interfering IN ANY WAY with the traffic flow. That includes diagonally from corner to corner.

The only exceptions I know of are as Robert stated, or, as on 41st ave there are signs in the median that actually say "No Jaywalking", and limited access roads (running across a freeway for example).

99% of Jaywalking tickets are illegitimate and intended as harassment but if there was a moving vehicle anywhere in sight it's hard to prove the vehicle did not have to take measures to avoid the walker, and the police testimony, if they perjure, will stand.
by Sylvia
Saturday Mar 30th, 2013 9:26 AM
United Way is administering this declaration and finalized the drafting. Not one word of the language will be changing. 1200 people have signed. The declaration and that count will be presented (I'm not sure where, to electeds I would guess). Community meetings are planned, the first about needle exchanges. We seem to be reverting to a less civil society - weird was better!