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Indybay Feature
Sat Aug 9 2014 (Updated 08/24/14)
ACLU Santa Cruz County Supports Moratorium on Camping Ban Laws
Sat Aug 9 2014 (Updated 08/24/14)
Homeless Activists Urge ACLU to Take More Principled Stand on Criminalization of Sleep
At its board meeting on June 30, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Santa Cruz County adopted a statement of principle in support of a proposed moratorium on camping ban laws and ordinances within the City and County of Santa Cruz. Discussion of the statement was preceded by testimony from several local homeless persons and homeless advocates. Proponents argued that criminalizing homelessness, and particularly the essential right to sleep, is a failed policy and one that must be revisited if the community is ever to move forward and create truly positive outcomes for our resident homeless community.

It was further the position of proponents that a one year moratorium on the enforcement of camping ban laws and ordinances between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. would allow the Santa Cruz City Council and the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors to conduct a fiscal review of the cost savings of the proposed moratorium as well as provide an opportunity to assess the impact of such a moratorium on both the homeless community and the community at large. It is the intention of the Board that the statement be read publicly before both the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and the Santa Cruz City Council at their next meetings.

In addition to supporting a moratorium on the camping ban, the Santa Cruz ACLU has made a number of recent public statements in what they call a new era of activism for the chapter. In July, the ACLU issued a resolution in support of the Santa Cruz Eleven, as well as raising objections to the Cowell Beach curfew and the acquisition of license plate readers by the Santa Cruz Police Department.

Read More | ACLU Santa Cruz Brings Statement of Principle to Board of Supervisors | Speak-Out Leads to Historic Shift in Local ACLU Avoidance of Homeless Civil Rights Issues | Homeless Take ACLU Sleeping Ban Suspension Resolution to City Council | Santa Cruz ACLU
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