Speak-Out Before and At Santa Cruz City Council Celebrating a Homeless Rights Victory at the local ACLU Board of Directors on June 30th.
Presentation of Petitions and Demands to City Council to Overturn the City's Anti-Homeless Sleeping Ban.
We'll meet to prepare a presentation at 4:30 with coffee and snacks outside City Council and then go in to speak at Oral Communications around 5 PM inside Council Chambers
LETTER TO MAYOR LYNN ROBINSON
I sent an earlier version of the folloowing letter to Mayor Robinson at the beginning of the week:
From: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
To: lrobinson [at] cityofsantacruz.com
CC: jyork [at] santacruzsentinel.com
; jpierce [at] santacruzweekly.com
Subject: ACLU Action Urging A Moratorium on the Sleeping and Camping Laws
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2014 14:55:39 -0700
On June 30th, the local ACLU passed the following resolution:
"Statement of Principle: The Santa Cruz County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union supports in principle a limited time moratorium on enforcement of camping ban laws and ordinances within the City and County of Santa Cruz on the grounds that such laws and ordinances selectively criminalize the homeless community."
"While the chapter is mindful that such a moratorium raises practical problems within the community at large, we believe that the benefits of such an approach in terms of the opportunity for civic leaders, policy makers and stakeholders to reassess the efficacy of these laws and ordinances outweighs any temporary adverse impact."
I, other HUFF activists, and homeless victims of the City's Sleeping Ban will be coming to Oral Communications tomorrow to support this statement and ask that the Council take immediate action to implement it.
There is a clear lack of shelter space. There are the safety problems created by the criminalization of the homeless--more for the homeless themselves than for those who fear or blame them. Lawsuits in other jurisdictions have been successful in overturning anti-homeless laws.
I encourage you and your fellow Council members to act swiftly to restore basic civil and human rights to the homeless community here.
One of the most basic, of course, is to be able to sleep at night and to be secure in one's property. If one is in danger of having it confiscated because sleeping is "illegal" after 11 PM, then one has no such security.
As a Free Radio Santa Cruz reporter, I will be audioing the meeting for broadcast. I assure you this will be done in a non-disruptive manner as has been the case without exception in the past.
I encourage you to respect the rights of the media, even those critical of your positions on various issues, to audibly make their own record of the meeting, as guaranteed by state law and the Constitution.
Earlier story on the historic homeless victory forcing an ACLU Bo to protect the homeless right to sleep in Santa Cruz: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/07/01/18758158.php
Earlier story on Mayor Robinson's false arrest for "unattended audio recording at City Council" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/05/03/18755258.php
Street Spirit story by Steve Pleich describing one version of his proposed moratorium on Sleeping Bans in Santa Cruz: http://www.thestreetspirit.org/santa-cruz-activists-call-for-moratorium-on-laws-that-criminalize-camping-and-sleeping/