SUCCESSFUL PROTEST ON SUNDAY
After a rousing demonstration downtown on Sunday (see https://www.facebook.com/events/483912138373592/?context=create
) Downtown for All activists will gather to oppose the Bryant-Robinson City Council's steamroller seizure of the sidewalk beginning at 3 PM.
Neither the Santa Cruz Sentinel (though a reporter was there) nor indybay.org/santacruz chose to cover the protest.
Councilmember Micah Posner put in appearance as the protest was dispersing. I'll hope to post my own impressions later today.
TUESDAY PROTEST WILL PROVIDE FOOD
Meet earlier and share some hot tasty soup, a strong dose of common sense and citizen outrage, and organizing for future action outside Council chambers.
A special tip of the hat to India Joze's Jumbogumbo Joe Schultz for providing tasty vegan soup at both the Sunday and Tuesday protests.
The new Shrink-Sidewalk-Space law changes are described at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/09/09/18742960.php?show_comments=1#18743583
though the latest clarifications are included in the attached flyer.
The text of the proposed ordinances is at http://sire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub/cache/2/mgx3p145ppgk5z45tcxxok45/379504109232013080657617.PDF
(the extended Smoking Ban) and; http://sire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub/cache/2/mgx3p145ppgk5z45tcxxok45/379504209232013080741906.PDF
(the Ban on Street Performing, Street Art, Street Vending, Political Tabling, & Peaceful Sparechanging on 95% of the Pacific Avenue sidealks and entirely in other business districts where sidewalks are adjacent to buildings).
COUNCIL'S RUSH JOB
Neither of the ordinances were vetted before the public in a Council Committee or Commission--as is customary with such changes. Nor were stakeholders in the major groups impacted consulted.
They were proposed with only 72-hour notice 2 weeks ago and passed by City Council 5-2 without only 2 minutes public input allowed per person (instead of the 3 minutes customary in a Public Hearing on a law change). There was no estimate of the amount of city money and police time already being spent enforcing these "don't sit next to a building"-style ordinances
THE USUAL SUSPECTS
They are being pushed by some merchants in the DTA to sanitize the sidewalks and lure more shoppers in the belief that less vibrant street life is a bigger draw. The pretexts are "congestion", "trip and fall hazard", and "upgrading the tacky look".
The ordinances also seem to be part of a continuing campaign to make Santa Cruz an "unwelcome" area for homeless people, hippies, and poor people generally.
Since it seems unlikely that the Council will disobey its Downtown Association, Santa Cruz Neighbors, and Take Back Santa Cruz masters, this meeting will also be an organizing opportunity to plan the next phase of the resistance.
More protests like Sunday's street demonstration and the spontaneous Saturday Chalk-In (see http://www.flickr.com/photos/97198640@N08/ http://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/eve/4078506873.html
) are a likely outcome of this kind of special interest repressive legislation. To challenge the surrender of traditional Santa Cruz street vitality to the prim Victorian standards of the New Puritans.