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Indybay Feature
View other events for the week of 4/12/2016
Wheelchair Chris Memorial, Council's "Vanish the Vendors" Law, and Freedom Sleep-Out #40
Date Tuesday April 12
Time 12:00 PM - 12:00 PM
Location Details
Creepy Ole City Hall and Its Surrounding Grounds and Sidewalks
and at times in the cold chambers of the Council Meeting area as well.
Event Type Protest
Emailzhershfield [at]
High-visibility Homeless Highlander Keith McHenry says he'll be setting up a literature and petitioning table at City Hall at noon.

Item #22 on the Afternoon Agenda--coming up sometime between 3:30 and 4:30 (perhaps) is the "Vanish the Vendors" Law. It severely restricts tabling and performance space for all non-commercial purposes downtown.

It reduces the number of spaces from the 63 promised by staff when Councilwoman Comstock's original "sweep away the homeless clutter" law was passed in 2013. Now the staff report suggests 25 will be the limit allowed.

The law bans dogs at tables. It BANS ALL VENDING AND OTHER SERVICES (such as massaging, hair wrapping, fortune telling, etc.). Not only selling, but distribution for donation, or display.

Staff report, proposed law, current law, and correspondence--go to . Then click on item #22.

Exempted are explicitly political buttons, literature, etc., or vendor-created books, audio, video, recordings, and paintings. This exemption was required by a federal court decision [Reno v. Sparks] years ago, though ignored by the SCPD demanding that writers, painters, and singers not charge for their own work. Such exemptions will only be in force for tabling in the 25 areas.

Instead of specifying where one can set up tables ("display devices"), it leaves this decision to future action by City Council. For the past two years, staff made the decisions behind closed doors, without public input, showing a, rigid and gentrified aesthetic hostile to street culture.

Depending on where the backroom big boys decide to set up the "exempt" zones, Food Not Bombs sidewalk meals COULD BE CURTAILED OR SIMPLY BANNED. Staff bureaucrats will decide where the 25 exempt zones will be located. Heading this group is Assistant to the Assistant City Manager Scott Collins, who refused to retract “Freedom Sleepers leave a mess” false claims months ago, and then took Keith to court for publicly denouncing him.

E-mail citycouncil [at] with your reaction to this latest "Roust the Riffraff" law. And then start thinking of ways to resist it, since the outcome is likely a done deal.

Why address profound income inequality, no rent control and renter protection, and the most elementary survival rights for those without shelter? Instead weeks after the Winter Armory Shelter has closed with 100 of 1000--2000 houseless on the street, City Council will be further researching "Tiny Homes" instead of designating emergency campgrounds as nearby San Jose's City Council has moved to do.

The memorial for Wheelchair Chris is to begin around 4 PM. See for more background.

Further background:

Sleepcrime after 11 PM still being a $158 crime in Santa Cruz, the few, the hardy, the hopeful will be on the sidewalk just outside the Forbidden Zone (our own "public" grounds at City Hall). Likely to be coffee and some munchables--though don't expect banquet-level cuisine.

Troublemaker Toby--on survival vacation will be available Wednesday morning for input and outburst at the Sub Rosa Cafe (703 Pacific) at 10 AM where he will scheme with others on the future of the Freedom Sleepers.

The regular HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) meeting willl begin at 11 AM. Free coffee for those with the stomach for it.
Added to the calendar on Monday Apr 11th, 2016 5:44 PM
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