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Santa Cruz City Council Delays Second Reading of Stay Away Ordinance
by ACLU Santa Cruz County
Tuesday Oct 28th, 2014 3:37 PM
ACLU Continues to Urge Reconsideration of Stay Away Ordinance
The Santa Cruz Chapter of the ACLU received notice shortly before the October 28th City Council session that the second reading of Santa Cruz Municipal Code Section 13.08.100 Pertaining to Orders to Vacate Park Property had been pulled from the meeting agenda. ACLU SC has voiced strong opposition to the ordinance and called into question the constitutional sufficiency of the amendment. Members of the Board of Directors were prepared to read into the record an additional statement of concern had the ordinance come up for the second reading as scheduled. That statement is as follows:

"We are speaking formally for the Santa Cruz Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union or ACLU. We only recently got information about the proposal you are considering here today and may not have fully accurate information about it, but we are responding to what we think is being considered.

We recognize that, no doubt, there are some individuals that the City and its citizens would not like to have in the parks or in some particular park. The ACLU has no objection to citing, or, when necessary, arresting individuals who are breaking valid laws. If the City feels that the current laws do not adequately cover some anti-social behavior that is specific and not unconstitutionally vague, we have no objection to the Council passing new or amending old City ordinances to address such matters. We also appreciate that the City does not have infinite resources and there may be insufficient City personnel to respond adequately to problems in the parks.

However, the Santa Cruz Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is shocked that the City Council is considering a resolution of this problem that involves banning individuals from a park or parks in general, for as long as a year, without any due process or procedure for a fair hearing in front of an impartial judge as to whether they actually committed the acts with which they are being charged or whether the punishment is appropriate for whatever transgression(s) they are cited for committing. This proposal is Constitutionally vague, lacks adequate due process protections, and is ripe for abuse. We sympathize with your need to address problem behavior in the parks and don't doubt that there is a problem that needs to be addressed, but we seriously hope you will find a different approach to addressing it."

ACLU SC will continue to be engaged on this and other civil liberties issues as they arise in or community.
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"another prominent national civil rights group"GWednesday Oct 29th, 2014 11:42 AM
additional legal warnings issued to SC City Council in their packetJusticeTuesday Oct 28th, 2014 6:20 PM
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