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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Police State and Prisons | Front Page

Fri Mar 14 2014 (Updated 03/20/14)
2013: A Nasty Year of New Anti-Homeless Laws
Fri Mar 14 2014 (Updated 03/20/14)
New City Ordinances in Santa Cruz Target Low Income Residents, Restrict First Amendment
In 2013, the Santa Cruz City Council approved a number of new ordinances that disproportionately affect homeless and low income people. Local ordinances now govern such behavior as "loitering" on traffic medians and "disorderly" conduct in parks, which has been redefined and may now result in a 24-hour stay away order.

The amount of space artists, activists, street vendors and performers may use in downtown Santa Cruz has also been significantly altered. MC 5.43 bans spreading out a blanket as a "display device", and the law reduces the total area available to anyone with an open guitar case, table, cup, or any other method of display to 12 square feet (i.e. three of the squares on the sidewalk).

Additionally, there has been an increase in reports of related law enforcement activities downtown by the Santa Cruz Police Department. Officer Barnett, a new Community Services Officer, has reportedly issued an inordinate number of tickets, which include citations for sitting near a building, displaying jewelry and craftswork, and smoking downtown. Observers say Barnett has taken the lead in "reanimating" the business license requirement for occasional crafts vending downtown. Under MC 5.04.090, individuals are required to buy a business license when vending more than six times in a fiscal year.

Read More | See Also: The Great Morgani, aka Frank Lima, Gets Squeezed Out of Downtown Santa Cruz | Downtown Ordinances -- A License to Harass Scarf Lady Kate Wenzell | Shrinking Sidewalks and the Permit Fantasy | Be on the Lookout for "Bad News" Barnett: Bully in Light Blue on the Beat! | imc_photo.gifArtists and Allies Continue to Blanket Downtown at Latest Sidewalk Sit-In | Shafting Non-Shoppers: Expanding the Destructive Downtown Ordinances | Deadly Downtown Ordinances - Updated