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View other events for the week of 10/28/2014
Sip Soup at the City Council Double Header: Stay-Aways & Performance Pens
Date Tuesday October 28
Time 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Location Details
Event Type Other
Organizer/AuthorRobert Norse
809 Center St. In front of City Hall The protest and chow-down will take place outside City Council chambers.

Munch-about, Speak-out, and Make-It-Up-As-You Go outside City Council at 3 PM.

WARNING: The actual time when these items will appear on the Council's agenda is unclear and uncertain. If you want to be sure to be there for the "we hate to hear you, but we have to" Public Comment periods, come early and bring a blanket, pillow, and teddy bear. The Open Session meeting starts at 2 PM.

We'll be discussing how to react to the new ordinances, composing new songs to sing, and perhaps discussing legal alternatives.

Additionally Chef "Punch Back" Pat Colby has promised some Buck-Up Brownies and Cut-the-Crap coffee for those who keep falling asleep during the day because sleeping is illegal for the homeless at night.

City Council Agenda Items 16 (Exploding Stay Away Orders) and 19 (Performance Pens on Pacific Avenue) are due to be rubberstamped sometime after the Council meeting starts at 2 PM.

STAY AWAY-LAW

I've described the law:
"Nasty Anti-Homeless Stay-Away Laws to Get Exponentially Worse " at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/12/18762778.php

For articulate and well-reasoned opposition to the Stay-Away Orders Escalation, see:

"Stay-Away From Human Rights ! An Activist Examines the Escalating Stay-Away Orders Law" at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/25/18763326.php

"Local ACLU Issues Stong Statement in Opposition to "Stay Away" Ordinance"at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/24/18763274.php

"Time to Step Up and Fight City Hall on “Stay Away” Ordinanc" at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/22/18763162.php

PERFORMANCE PENS

This law expands from 12 square feet to 24 square feet the performing/vending/tabling room on Pacific Ave. in any one space.

It also marks with dots on the sidewalk the "allowed" areas (which still amount to less than 2% of the sidewalk). And ir requires only certain activities happen on certain parts of the sidewalk (performance, vending and tabling, or all three).

An apparent additional consequence is to severely lessen the space for panhandlers and sitters.

In addition the notorious Move-Along-Every-Hour law remains in place.

This is the first reading of the law--which has had no prior public hearing where the real stakeholders could assemble and give their views in a meaningful way. Don Lane has been privately assembling information along with staffer Julie Hende.

There will be a second, final, and likely slamdunk reading of the law in two weeks.

The staff report, maps, ordinance, and resolution can all be found on line at http://scsire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=570&doctype=AGENDA .


ADDITIONAL ITEM ON RESTORING THE RIGHT TO AUDIO RECORD WITHOUT ARREST OR CONFISCATION

Item B4 of the Closed Session and 9d of the Open Session Consent Agenda concerns my financial claim against the
City for falsely arresting me on April 1st for replacing my audio recorder in its traditional place.

Council's SCPD guard Sgt. John Bush has continued to confiscate my recording device at each subsequent meeting. This happens if I leave it to check the agenda, go to the bathroom, stand at the side of the room, or interview someone outside. He will likely do so again at this meeting.

See "Video of the False Arrest at Santa Cruz City Council for Audio Recording on April 1" at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/05/03/18755258.php

If you want to comment on this item at Closed Session, go to the City Council Conference Room behind the Chambers at 1 PM for the open interval. You may have to knock loudly to get in. You will also not be told to leave during the subsequent discussion.

The issue will arise again when the City Attorney reports the rejection of the claim on the Consent Agenda at Open Session where brief comment is allowed.
Added to the calendar on Monday Oct 27th, 2014 10:26 AM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Robert Norse
Monday Oct 27th, 2014 8:26 PM
Though he declined to meet with activists at the Food Not Bomb meal this Saturday, Vice Mayor Don Lane has agreed to meet with HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom) activists at 1:30 PM today at City Hall. He e-mailed me today that they intend to walk from there to the Pacific Ave. area to look more closely at the red, blue, and yellow dots that will be defining what I term the "performance pens" of those who perform only (yellow), table or vend (red), and those who do any of the three (yellow). Choose your colors wisely. I reprint my correspondence with the Vice-Mayor below.

The current markings are temporary and were done without benefit of public meetings during the last six months when staff member Julie Hende, Lane, and other cooked them up. They will be up for an initial vote tomorrow. at the afternoon Council session.

I reprint below the rather intense exchange of e-mails I had with Lane in the last few days. They outline my concerns and his responses.


CORRESPONDENCE

After hearing nothing for the last six months of what Lane reports in his e-mail as extensive outreach, I received this e-mail last Wednesday.

From: dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com
To: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:45:47 -0700
Subject: downtown performance and tabling

Hi Robert

Tomorrow, there will be a staff report out for the new downtown performance and vending rules. They proceed along the lines discussed at the council a few months ago... to have designated, marked locations for performance, tabling and "both." (I use the term tabling to refer to both informational tabling and artist vending from a display device.)

Anyway, I want to see if you'd like to meet with me to discuss this prior to the council meeting.

I can meet either Friday or Monday, if you'd like.

Don Don Lane Vice Mayor City of Santa Cruz dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com 831-420-5022


On Oct 22, 2014, at 10:19 PM, "Robert" wrote:
Thanks, Don. Perhaps you can give me your thoughts via e-mail before we meet?


From: dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com
To: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:33:49 -0700
Subject: Re: downtown performance and tabling

Hi Robert,

The item is number 19 in the agenda packet for next Tuesday.

At this point, my thoughts are that the staff seems to have brought back an item that conforms to what the city council asked for.

At the moment, though, my thoughts are not what's important. The point of my invitation is to hear your thoughts and the thoughts of some of the folks you're talking to.

I have some time tomorrow around 1:30... or on Monday between around noon and 3.

thanks

Don Don Lane Vice Mayor City of Santa Cruz dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com 831-420-5022



On Oct 24, 2014, at 7:48 AM, "Robert" wrote:

Don: Thanks for your reply.

I've read the staff report and ordinance changes.

Can you clarify where exactly these zones are and how close to buildings? I've seen the dot map, but it's unclear to me how many, for instance, are actually next to buildings?

I certainly have some questions. You've apparently been involved in an information-gathering activity. --or has that been Hende, Collins, etc.? Who's the person who'd know the most about this?

In any case, I'm advising others about this sudden arrival of the ordinance change. Sudden because you had no sub-committee meetings that were announced or public, no real open and clear outreach to those most directly impacted--those being ticketed for being there.

No street performers (whom I regularly interview, as you know) have mentioned being spoken to. Nor have I heard that service providers or homeless advocates have been approached (not to mention the homeless community) regarding the impact on, say, panhandlers, groups of folks who just want to hang out, folks who want to sit down. How do you judge this will impact the remaining space available to them?

In a survey HUFF did months ago,we did some calculations. First look at the total area available for a completely object-free Pacific Avenue sidewalk. Then subtract all the space taken up by privatized merchant areas, illegal merchant signs, bike racks, the remaining benches, and, of course, all the forbidden zones (especially those created last fall, but including those mandated in 1994, 2002, 2003, and 2009). We found that the amount of space for folks to sit, sparechange, perform, vend, or table was less than 1% of the total area. A pretty sweeping contraction of usable public space to pander to merchant and TBSC-style pressure. Please ask Collins to confirm or deny this in advance of the first reading, so the community has this information.

Also can you clarify the rationale for not having any real preliminary public process here before the final document was prepared for the inevitable City Council sign-off?

I may be downtown today. Let me know where you'll be at 1:30 PM in the event that I get enough information to helpfully add. Shall I advise others that you'll also still be available Monday noon-to three?

If you can answer the previous questions, it would be helpful. Robert



From: dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com
To: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:42:42 -0700
Subject: Re: downtown performance and tabling

Hi Robert,

1) locations: the various spaces are already marked with temporary dots on the ground all along Pacific. the map can help you find the specific spaces

2) who: Julie Hendee has prepared the initial draft map and made the temporary marks on the ground. I have spoken with a good number of people and heard from many others over the last 6 or 8 months. I gave Julie my thoughts along the way.

3) impact: I believe the new approach will provide a similar amount of space to the previous distance-based approach... with perhaps a slight increase. Benches will remain available to those who would like to sit, too.

4) staff information: staff has provided information on the number of spaces and their wide distribution around downtown. I believe this is enough info to give the community a good sense of what's going to be available. You're always welcome to ask for more information but I will not be pursuing this particular request.

5) process: I had about 10 meetings with various users of downtown in my own exploration of this issue. Then, the council held a public meeting to discuss and approve the general concept of this new approach. Then, the staff placed preliminary markings on the ground so people could get a better idea of the what the new approach would look like. Now the council will hold a first reading of a new ordinance that allows for this new approach to replace the old distance-based approach. As this is presented, the preliminary map will be aired but will not be acted on... so there will be additional opportunity for people to communicate with the city and elected representatives before the council decides whether or not to give staff the final go-ahead. In other words, there will have been about 6 months of opportunity for community comment on the proposed new approach. There will have been 3 opportunities for comment a public meetings, 6 months of time for people to send emails on this subject, a month for people to look at the temporary markings... and, if the council gives the go-ahead, the whole thing will be set up as a 6 month pilot project, so there will be 6 additional months for people to weigh in. I imagine a creative person like you could say that this means that there is inadequate public process but I would not be able to agree with you on this point.

6) availability: at 1:30 today I will probably be heading to work on a project with the Resource Center for Nonviolenc... since I do not (at this moment) have a request from you for an appointment at that time I made other plans. If you would like to make an appointment with me on Monday, you can let me know what time works for you. Any other member of the community can also request an appointment-- I'll do my best to make it work in the context of all the work I have on my plate.

thank you Don

Don Lane Vice Mayor City of Santa Cruz dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com 831-420-5022



From: Robert [mailto:rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com]
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2014 11:57 AM
To: Don Lane
Cc: Julie Hendee; Scott Collins; Becky Johnson; & others
Subject: Upcoming "Reform" Ordinance to Bring Back Street Performers

Don: Thanks for the extensive reply.
You didn't say whether these new spaces are next buildings at all--which one of the concerns at the last (and only) public hearing on this. Can you ask Julie or Scott to answer this question? Without requiring all of us to walk up and down the mall seeking out the spots? I tried to do this last night but couldn't see the markings, even with the strong night lighting.
You may "believe" that the space is "similar" to the previously "legal" areas, but have you received any specific information in regards to this from staff? Otherwise, you're simply reiterating the staff's spring statements.
To clarify your comments on process,have you or the staff held any public hearings announced in advance on this issue? The Council did hold a hearing last spring where the staff presented essentially a finished proposal to be signed off on by the City Council. Is this what is intended again for Tuesday? As we are all well-aware, City Council rarely responds to public comment when finished laws are put before it. Previous iterations of this contraction of public space involved extensive hearings by City Council commitees and the Downtown Commission (1994, 2002, 2003). Have you in the past six months announced publicly-announced hearings. Do you plan to hold any meetings in the next six months independent of private chats with select groups and people?
Have you any information from social service providers and homeless advocates as well as homeless people regarding the impact these performance pens will have on those who want to sit, socialize, or sparechange on Pacific but do not intend to perform, vend, or table? What is your assessment based on the information you do have? You state that the impact will be slightly more space.
What do you anticipate will be that impact, as a long-time Board member of the Homeless Services Center and a former Mayor who put great verbal emphasis on homeless rights, services, and dignity?
I don't blame you for not holding the 1 PM space open. I"ll be meeting with activists tomorrow at 4:30 at the Food Not Bombs meal near the main post office. Will you come and answer questions there?
Frankly, I'm concerned that this last minute "outreach" is a token and more in the nature of a gesture to give the appearance of inclusivity without the reality. If that is not the case, please clarify why not contact me during the prior six months when there would actually be time to meaningfully discuss these issues?
Do you agree that the total amount of sidewalk space (subtracting merchant-leased areas, illegal merchant signs, bike racks, the increasingly smaller number of benches, and the forbidden zones) is less than 1% of the total sidewalk area?
If you don't agree, what do you consider the figure to be (considering the your "exploration of the issue", many conversations you've had, and extensive input you've received?
Of if you can't make it to the Saturday meeting tomorrow, it would be helpful to have your specific answers to each of these questions. And if you want, try to reserve some space on Monday after I've presented your thoughts to interested folks on Saturday. They may have some more input.

Thanks, Robert

P.S. I am cc-ing this to Julie Hende and Scott Collins to see if they can provide any additional information, since you are reluctant to ask them.



To: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:19:43 -0700
Subject: RE: Upcoming "Reform" Ordinance to Bring Back Street Performers

Hi Robert
2 quick answers… I know there are at least two proposed spaces up against buildings. Because there are about 60 spaces in the proposed new approach, it seems that this is similar to the previous arrangement and perhaps a bit more.

And I guess I can repeat this for you:
“I had about 10 meetings with various users of downtown in my own exploration of this issue. Then, the council held a public meeting to discuss and approve the general concept of this new approach. Then, the staff placed preliminary markings on the ground so people could get a better idea of the what the new approach would look like. Now the council will hold a first reading of a new ordinance that allows for this new approach to replace the old distance-based approach. As this is presented, the preliminary map will be aired but will not be acted on... so there will be additional opportunity for people to communicate with the city and elected representatives before the council decides whether or not to give staff the final go-ahead. In other words, there will have been about 6 months of opportunity for community comment on the proposed new approach. There will have been 3 opportunities for comment a public meetings, 6 months of time for people to send emails on this subject, a month for people to look at the temporary markings... and, if the council gives the go-ahead, the whole thing will be set up as a 6 month pilot project, so there will be 6 additional months for people to weigh in.”

In case this is not obvious, I do recognize that you have a right to ask as many questions as you’d like. And you often have an endless stream of questions. This often makes me and others wonder whether your intent is to gather information or to simply fulfill your desire for additional attention for you and your agenda. Perhaps you could try, from time to time saying “thanks for the extensive reply and I’ll work with what you’ve given me” instead of “thanks for the reply and I will continue to ask you questions ad nauseum” My interactions with you help me recognize that I have a right to decide how much time to spend with communications from each community member since my time is not unlimited and I receive so many communications. Just a thought…

Don

From: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
To: dlane [at] cityofsantacruz.com
CC: jhendee [at] cityofsantacruz.com; scollins [at] cityofsantacruz.com; becky_johnson222 [at] hotmail.com;...and many others
Subject: RE: Upcoming "Reform" Ordinance to Bring Back Street Performers
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:45:04 -0700

Don: I want to acknowledge your response. More response, surely, than Mayors Robinson and Bryant. However I've got to smile at some of your responses.
Why not be direct and simply say "no" when I ask ",have you or the staff held any public hearings announced in advance on this issue? " since it's clear I don't mean the prefabricated stuff that goes on at City Council when the law comes up for final framing by the Council. Radically different from earlier public process around this same issue a decade ago.
Why so hard to answer simple questions? For instance, the question about the impact on those not using display devices? Or the whether you've consulted homeless advocates, homeless people, or social service providers on that issue? And, of course, the question of whether you'll actually face the people who are actually being ticketed on their own turf, i.e. at the Food Not Bombs meal tomorrow.
Thanks for the specifics about the two proposed spaces against buildings (dare I ask, where are they?).
I will, of course, work with what you've given me (as well as that which you declined to give).
Incidentally, I thought you made many good points re: the upcoming deportation-without-trial law coming up for a final reading Tuesday. I hope you reiterate them on Tuesday. I'll be playing your thoughts on my Sunday morning show (along with the rest of the Council's dog-and-pony show). I do suggest you delete your compromise suggestion to slice away only half the Constitution (i.e. deportation for only a day, a week, or a month without trial at the whim of the citing officer without court process, even if person is innocent of the underlying offense).
Let me now about Saturday and Monday. The answers to the above questions can be brief--and spare me the need to ask them again.
You're also invited to join us outside Council chambers at 3 PM or shortly thereafter to oppose these laws and seek a return to the Voluntary Street Performers Guidelines, which worked fine for over 20 years.

Robert
by Robert Norse
Monday Oct 27th, 2014 9:11 PM
Vice-Mayor Don Lane took to the sidewalks for an hour and a half to show myself and several other activists the "improved spaces" for performers, tablers, and vendors on Pacific Avenue.

Lane made it clear there were only two spaces that he knew of near a building with all the rest within 6' of the curbs. There were a few new spaces and the impossible 12 square foot zone where a person placed her good, instrument, chair, possessions etc was doubled to 24 square feet (previous to last fall only the size of the table was limited in size).

Those extending outside the dotted "pens" will be violating the law and subject to a fine of hundreds of dollars. Those who don't move along every hour when told to do so by one of the armed uniforms stalking the Avenue will be subject to similar fines. You must move 100' and then only into one of the spaces designated for the type of activity you are doing. You can't return for 24 hours to the previous spot. Lane candidly said he had no interested in changing this basic unnecessary and abusive condition, in spite of the nearly unanimous complaints of vendors, artista, and activists we spoke to.

NO PUBLIC MEETINGS HELD NOR PLANNED
Lane acknowledged he held no announced public meetings on the issue in the last six months and did not intend to hold any in the next six months (though he did suggest he might be persuaded). Instead he suggested we come to City Council. [And talk for two minutes after which the Council votes in the prefabricated staff plan.]

IMPACT ON THOSE NOT ALLOWED IN THE PERFORMANCE PENS?
He also had no answer to the question of how this would impact those who simply wanted to sit down and were not performing, vending, or tabling. Nor did he acknowledge that 98% of sidewalk is essentially banned for these activities. And 99% of the sidewalk banned for non-obstructive sitting and peaceful (even silent) panhandling.

Lane did reiterate there were 61 spots up and down the Avenue in these fixed boxes only 1/3 of which were restricted to one category of performing, or vending and tabling.

The conversation was friendly if occasionally intense, and numerous street artists and performers got involved. Tip of the hat to Coral Brune and Pat Colby--as well as Don Lane--for making the rare publicly accessible session happen.

THE ACTUAL RESOLUTION
It apparently had zero impact on the proposed Council resolution which gives all power to the City Manager, requiring no public accountability, involvement or transparency whatever. It reads:

"The City Manager, or the City Manager’s designee, shall be authorized to establish designated
spaces on sidewalks in the C-C Community Commercial, CN Commercial Neighborhood, C-B Commercial Beach, CBD Central Business District, and R-T Tourist Residential Zone Districts within which either street performers using display devices or others engaging in free speech activities using display devices, or both, can perform or engage in speech. Said spaces shall be delineated by markings on the sidewalk. Performance spaces shall be demarcated as follows: yellow sidewalk marking. Tabling spaces shall be demarcated as follows: red sidewalk marking. Spaces within which both performing and other speech are permitted shall be demarcated as follows: blue sidewalk marking."

It is true the postage stamp-sized spaces created last year of 12 square feet have been doubled to 24 square feet, marked out with dots, as described above. This, of course, is because last fall's 12 square feet limit was ludicrously unsable and ignored by police and public alike--as were many of the forbidden zone limitations.

WHAT'S NEEDED
Some street performers generally prefer to not be bumping into motorists and passenbers getting out of cars, breathing in carbon monoxide from passing traffic, competing with motorcycles and other engines revving up, and also playing directly into businesses creating possible conflicts.

Playing with back to the building was the rule from 1980 to 2002 under the Voluntary Street Performers Guidelines (scroll down to read Tom Noddy's article at http://www.buskersadvocates.org/saalegalSantaCruzGuide.html ) which was the successful practice in Santa Cruz during that period. In 2003, City Council banned all playing next to buildings setting up 10' forbidden zones (expanded to 14' last fall).

In March, Lane and Councilmember Comstock got together to supposedly reform the less than 1% of the sidewalk left for the public to perform, sit down directly, peacefully sparechange, display artwork, politically table, musically perform, or vend handicrafts.

The only real justification for limiting the public's use of the sidewalk for non-commercial activity is to prevent obstructing free movement and to guard against public health and safety. Aesthetic considerations like "clutter", merchant anxiety about the visible presence of poverty, conservative residence preference to remove counterculture and youth culture there are not valid concerns.

THE BUREAUCRATIC REALITY
Instead of returning to this basic understanding of allowing maximum public use, the behind-the-scenes bureaucrats without holding any public hearings. They did no not provide for any regular process of input and accountability. No such process is proposed for the next six months. Instead the City Council will vote--after hearing token public comment (in a meeting advanced 3 days in advance)on tghe law changes.

These changes give the bureaucrats continuing power over which group gets to play, vend, table, or sell, where. All input has been filtered through Lane, Hende, and their fellow bureaucrats. And that is the proposed process for the next six months. -- have put forward an ordinance which gives them power over the areas.

The City has essentially leased off large segments of the sidewalk, and created forbidden zones on the rest of the 99%. Merchants have already illegally staked out more of the sidewalk by putting up free standing commercial signs advertising their knickknacks in spots where human beings are forbidden to sit, perform, etc.

In six months of backroom preparing, calculating, and ordinance-making Julie Hende and Don Lane have come up with two, count -em two spaces next to buildings.according to Don, though we never actually got to see them. One is purportedly in front of New Leaf Market (though the space I saw yesterday was far away from the building and nearer the trash can); another is supposedly near Forever 21.

I will continue to send out search parties in search of other areas next to buildings.

I'll be playing some audio of the Lane Walk on my show Thursday night 6 PM or soon after on 101.a FM.
by C Reef
Tuesday Oct 28th, 2014 11:11 AM
People need to take to the streets. If you can make the art and music your main objective, then usually it may be somewhat particular to the cop on the beat BUT it can be worked out while there.

Our approach with the city official capacity has to be central and one main approach, and save the creative playing, talking, singing, and art exposing for the performance. Be polite but very concise.

I'm not expecting everyone to do that but those that represent must have the facts and first amendment law and ordinances familiar and handy to use in conversations. I've seen though united fronts hold up tho the law keepers that be, simply by combining the effort fruitfully while there. SAFE was pretty good at that.*

* SAFE Society for Freedom of Expression, 2004-2008

Coral Reef
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