[Hpn] Homeless Activist Sues Santa Cruz Mayor

Susan Forrest SFORREST@APLA.ORG
Tue, 12 Sep 2000 07:07:12 -0700


How can I be removed from this discussion board?

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Tom Boland [SMTP:wgcp@earthlink.net]
> Sent:	Tuesday, September 12, 2000 12:40 AM
> To:	HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK list; homeless@csf.colorado.edu; Food Not
> Bombs list; Rainbow Family list; Homes Not Jails
> Cc:	Ted Hayes; KWRU; National Coalition for the Homeless
> Subject:	[Hpn] Homeless Activist Sues Santa Cruz Mayor
> 
> FWD  From: "Becky Johnson" <wmnofstl@cruzio.com>
>      To: "Street Spirit" <spirit@afsc.org>
> 
> HOMELESS ACTIVIST SUES SANTA CRUZ MAYOR     
> 
> Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom
> 309 Cedar St. PMB 14B  Santa Cruz, Ca. USA 95060
> (831) 423-HUFF fax (831) 429-8529 e-mail Wmnofstl@cruzio.com
> 
> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 11,  2000
> 
> 
> Norse Sues Mayor Keith Sugar
> 
> Entire council named for Brown Act Violations
> at the Santa Cruz City Council at June 27th  Meeting
> 
> 
> Santa Cruz, Ca.  Activist Robert Norse filed a lawsuit with the  Santa
> Cruz
> County Superior Court this afternoon against Mayor Keith  Sugar & the
> entire Santa Cruz City Council for what he says are a  long series of
> Brown
> Act violations and bad policy decisions which have had the  effect of
> stifling public comment.
> 
> "We have seen an increasing tendency of this council to cut public
> commentary short, to treat some speakers more preferentially than others,
> and to  hold a different standard for speakers who are critical of their
> acts and  policies," Norse commented shortly after ponying up the $188
> filing  fee. "The trend to conduct meetings doing city business behind
> closed doors  is profoundly undemocratic."
> 
> Some of Sugars repressive policies border on paranoia, said  homeless
> activist Becky Johnsona supporter of the lawsuit.  "The Mayor said hed
> arrest Norse for bringing a small  gold-painted bedside commode into
> Council chambers," said Johnson.  "The content of our speech was to
> present
> a "Golden Potty Award; an  award Councilmembers obviously would have
> preferred not receive." The award  was a token of recognition for Councils
> refusal to implement the February  1999 Council resolution authorizing
> dumpsters and portapotties in the industrial  zones after nearly 16 months
> of delay or in the Safe Zones after the May  23rd first reading.
> 
> The suit alleges that Mayor Sugar repeatedly interrupts speakers at public
> comment periods and has had speakers critical of him taken away by police
> and  detained. Also sued is Councilmember Katherine Beiers for illegally
> proposing a motion without adequate public notice. Her early morning
> motion
> to  kill the Safe Sleeping Zones for homeless people violated Section
> 54954.2 (a) of  the Brown Act by not letting the public know what was
> happening before it was  rushed through.
> 
> The Council voted for Safe Sleeping Zones for its homeless people in the
> industrial zones of the City on May 23rd. At 1:15 am on June 28th,  with 3
> people in the audience, Beiers and Councilmember Michael  Rotkin moved to
> kill the Sleeping Zones without providing any alternatives  for the Citys
> 1500 homeless people and without giving documentation of  the reasons for
> their actions.
> 
> The suit also calls for Mercy Charities Housing [MCH], Santa  Cruz
> sole-source developer of affordable housing to hold open meetings of  its
> advisory board in accordance with the Brown Act since it receives  City
> funding, the Mayor sits on its board and votes. If MCH  enforces income
> requirements, criminal record bars, credit checks, no  past eviction
> requirements, & density restrictions, scores of Latino  families could be
> forced from affordable housing to homelessness.
> 
> Norse has sent City Council three other letters, itemizing Brown Act
> violations, including a new letter written and sent to City Hall two hours
> after  he filed the Writ of Mandamus. "These politicians dont read their
> letters, but they know a subpoena when they see one."
> 
> END FORWARD
> 
> 
> 
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