[Hpn] Sleeping Ban Repeal to be Placed on Ballot in Santa Cruz / HUFF fw

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Sat, 15 Jul 2000 18:29:49 -0700 (PDT)


FWD 13 July 2000

Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom
309 Cedar St. PMB 14B / Santa Cruz, Ca. USA 95060
(831) 423-HUFF fax (831) 429-8529
e-mail "Becky Johnson" <wmnofstl@cruzio.com>

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, July 13, 2000

Sleeping Ban Repeal to be Placed on Ballot

Advisory Measure Still Bans Sleeping in Vehicles at Night

Five Santa Cruz Police Officers defend Council Chambers
from "Golden Potty" Award Presentation

Earlier this year HUFF activists presented the special Pie-in-your-Eye award
to Councilmember Mike Rotkin as the winner of the biggest supporter of the
anti-homeless Sleeping Ban. In the second in a series of award
presentations, HUFF had combined forces with ROAR (Restore Our American
Rights) activists to present at City Council a special gilded receptacle to
a Councilmember who had forgotten to provide portapotties and dumpsters in
the proposed Safe Sleeping Zones in Harvey West Industrial Area and the
Natural Bridges Industrial Park, thus generating a backlash against homeless
people in vehicles. But Mayor Keith Sugar was not one to be the butt of any
jokes on the doo-doo broohaha. He ordered his police force to block an
innocent potty from entering council chambers on threat of arrest.

HUFF and ROAR activists have asked for documentation from City Council to
explain why they voted at 1 AM with only four members of the public in the
audience to withdraw the Safe Sleeping Zones ordinance on June 28th. They
have asked City Council to explore allegations from business owners that
City police first directed homeless people to the "safe" zones before they
had been made legal, and then refused to enforce laws about urinating and
defecating, about disturbing the peace, about drug use -- as claimed by
Mission St. extension merchants on June 13th at City Council and by other
members of the public on June 15th on Community TV.

They have asked City Council why portapotties, dumpsters, and other sanitary
needs were not immediately installed in the areas, especially since the
police were already directing people to move into those areas. They are
concerned about this elementary city health and safety need.

On June 28th the City Council majority chose to ignore its May 23rd promise
to establish safe sleeping zones in the industrial districts. Surrendering
to special-interest NIMBY bigotry from Texas Instruments, Plantronics, Don
Hubbard of the Harvey West Business Association, SCO and other corporate
interests in the Natural Bridges and Harvey West areas, Councilmember
Katherine Beiers betrayed her commitment to the homeless and to the broader
community.

Robert Norse has said the council "acted illegally, by voting on an issue
technically not on the agenda (withdrawing the Safe Sleeping Zones proposal
from publication) and did so after 1 a.m. in the morning when there were
only four members of the public in the audience." HUFF plans on documenting
Sugar's list of Brown Act violations on a giant thermometer to be shown at
City Hall.

Fitzmaurice to Author Sleeping Ban Advisory Measure for November Ballot

On July 11th, Councilmember Tim Fitzmaurice expressed support to "let the
people decide" on the controversial Sleeping Ban, which bars nearly all
outdoor sleeping between 11PM and 8:30AM. Fitzmaurice said he is considering
language which would remove from the definition of camping, the act of
sleeping. "We have plenty of ordinances on the books to prevent the
activities we are most concerned about," he said. Activists noted the
measure was advisory only, and, even if passed by the voters in November,
would not compel any changes in the law, which Fitzmaurice characterized as
"Draconian." Unlike the earlier proposal for Safe Zones in the industrial
areas where vehicularly-housed people would have been the primary
beneficiaries, this measure would only benefit people without vehicles.

The Council plans to finalize language for a vote at its July 25th Council
session.

City Council can be called at (831)420-5017 24 hr. voicemail to urge that
the ballot measure be both binding, and include decriminalization of
sleeping in vehicles as well as legalizing sleeping but not camping, out of
doors.

END FORWARD

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