[Hpn] Not Just for the Rich: Draconian Downtown ordinances to be passed today 7PM

Becky Johnson Becky_Johnson@sbcglobal.net
Tue, 23 Jul 2002 14:41:45 -0700


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Not Just for the Rich
Draconian Downtown ordinances to be passed in Santa Cruz, Ca.  7PM =
session
by Becky Johnson


July 23, 2002
=20
Santa Cruz, Ca. --  Today (Tuesday, July 23rd) is the day the Santa Cruz =
City Council plans to pass the most draconian set of ordinances against =
homeless and poor people they have ever considered since 1978 when they =
passed the Sleeping Ban.

I was chatting with a young man on Pacific Ave. yesterday. I told him =
the ordinances would force all street musicians, street performers, =
political tables, beggers, and those who want to sit down on the =
sidewalk into tiny, free speech "ghettos."

All such activities would banned 14 feet from a building, 14 feet from a =
crosswalk. 14 feet from a bench. 14 feet from a telephone.  14 feet from =
a monument, 14 feet from the wrought iron fence railing of an outdoor =
eatery, and 50 feet from an ATM.  Leaning against a building would now =
become a crime.

He asked me who on the council was supporting these ordinances. When I =
told him Vice-mayor Emily Reilly and Councilmember Ed Porter, he looked =
incredulous.  "Ed Porter was my teacher," he told me.  "He seemed like a =
nice guy."  I guess he never really knew him. =20

As I blew bubbles, not joyfully but mournfully, I announced to a well =
dressed man that bubble-blowing would become illegal the next day.  He =
scoffed at me and told me I was "crazy."  I wish it was me who was =
crazy.

One woman stopped by to tell me she had had it with the scene downtown.  =
"I saw a young person snorting cocaine right on a bench on Pacific Ave. =
the other day!"  These new ordinances will not affect this activity in =
any way.  Cocaine is already illegal.  I wonder if she was offended by =
people snorting cocaine in the privacy of their homes?  Homeless people =
have no homes by definition. =20

On Sunday, I took my tape measure and identified where the "Free Speech =
Ghettos" will go.  As I chalked the areas to demonstrate to the public =
just how little space will be left for creative expression such as =
music, or public education on issues such as political tabling, SCPD =
Officer Phelps and CSO Gray (chief instigators in the Bread Crumb =
Terrorist case where a homeless man was beaten by police after feeding =
the birds) came over and wrote me a $162 citation for 'chalk-writing on =
the sidewalk'  although Officer Phelps could not tell me for sure that =
chalking a sidewalk is illegal.  "You've been ticketed before so you =
know its illegal," he told me.  Guilty until proven innocent in Santa =
Cruz.

On Monday I came out with my tape measure and a roll of masking tape.  I =
was not ticketed, but there is no distinction in MC 9.20.010 'Defacing a =
Sidewalk' ordinance between chalk and masking tape.  It really is just =
up to the police to interpret the ordinance differently on a day-by-day =
basis and on a case-by-case basis.

A demonstration to oppose passage of the ordinances is planned today for =
3PM at City Hall, 809 Center St. behind the Main Library.

The ordinances will be discussed (and yes passed) on a second reading =
tonight as the first item on the 7 PM agenda.  While Mayor Christopher =
Krohn voted against the ordinances a week ago by saying the process "had =
been rushed" who can believe him?  He is the mayor and he is the one who =
scheduled the special meeting just so the process could be rushed and so =
this will be a done deal before most folks come back from vacation and =
the students return in the fall.

Please call the City Council at (831) 420-5017 and leave a message about =
what you think of these ordinances.

The fight for justice for poor and homeless people, street musicians and =
entertainers will be a long and hard one.  The downtown merchants, the =
police, and the City Council are pushing ahead with this most egregious =
agenda.  But our fight against this injustice is the good fight.  We =
have an uphill battle.  But never despair, for we are right and they are =
wrong.  We support the right of the people to peacably assemble.  We =
support freedom of speech.  We support a community that is for all the =
people, rich and poor, not just for the rich.

for more info: Contact HUFF Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom  =
(831) 423-HUFF
to contact Becky Johnson by e-mail becky_johnson@sbcglobal.net=20

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<DIV align=3Dcenter style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial"><FONT =
size=3D4><STRONG>Not Just for the=20
Rich</STRONG></FONT></DIV>
<DIV align=3Dcenter style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial"><STRONG>Draconian =
Downtown ordinances=20
to be passed in Santa Cruz,&nbsp;Ca.&nbsp; 7PM session</STRONG></DIV>
<DIV align=3Dcenter style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial">by Becky Johnson</DIV>
<DIV><BR></DIV>
<DIV align=3Dcenter><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>July 23, =
2002</FONT></DIV>
<DIV align=3Dcenter><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Santa Cruz, Ca. --&nbsp; Today =
(Tuesday, July 23rd)=20
is the day the Santa Cruz City Council plans to pass the most draconian =
set of=20
ordinances against homeless and poor people they have ever considered =
since 1978=20
when they passed the Sleeping Ban.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>I was chatting with a young man on =
Pacific Ave.=20
yesterday. I told him the ordinances would force all street musicians, =
street=20
performers, political tables, beggers, and those who want to sit down on =
the=20
sidewalk into tiny, free speech "ghettos."</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>All such activities would banned 14 =
feet from a=20
building, 14 feet from a crosswalk. 14 feet from a bench. 14 feet from a =

telephone.&nbsp; 14 feet from a monument, 14 feet from the wrought iron =
fence=20
railing of an outdoor eatery, and 50 feet from an ATM.&nbsp; Leaning =
against a=20
building would now become a crime.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>He asked me who on the council was =
supporting these=20
ordinances. When I told him Vice-mayor Emily Reilly and Councilmember Ed =
Porter,=20
he looked incredulous.&nbsp; "Ed Porter was my teacher," he told =
me.&nbsp; "He=20
seemed like a nice guy."&nbsp; I guess he never really knew him.&nbsp;=20
</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>As I blew bubbles, not joyfully but =
mournfully, I=20
announced to a well dressed man that bubble-blowing would become illegal =
the=20
next day.&nbsp; He scoffed at me and told me I was "crazy."&nbsp; I wish =
it was=20
me who was crazy.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>One woman stopped by to tell me she had =
had it with=20
the scene downtown.&nbsp; "I saw a young person snorting cocaine right =
on a=20
bench on Pacific Ave. the other day!"&nbsp; These new ordinances will =
not affect=20
this activity in any way.&nbsp; Cocaine is already illegal.&nbsp; I =
wonder if=20
she was offended by people snorting cocaine in the privacy of their =
homes?&nbsp;=20
Homeless people have no homes by definition.&nbsp; </FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>On Sunday, I took my tape measure and =
identified=20
where the "Free Speech Ghettos" will go.&nbsp; As I chalked the areas to =

demonstrate to the public just how little space will be left for =
creative=20
expression such as music, or public education on issues such as =
political=20
tabling, SCPD Officer Phelps and CSO Gray (chief instigators in the =
Bread Crumb=20
Terrorist case where a homeless man was beaten by police after feeding =
the=20
birds) came over and wrote me a $162 citation for 'chalk-writing on the=20
sidewalk'&nbsp; although Officer Phelps could not tell me for =
sure&nbsp;that=20
chalking a sidewalk is illegal.&nbsp; "You've been ticketed before so =
you know=20
its illegal," he told me.&nbsp; Guilty until proven innocent in Santa=20
Cruz.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>On Monday I came out with my tape =
measure and a=20
roll of masking tape.&nbsp; I was not ticketed, but there is no =
distinction in=20
MC 9.20.010 'Defacing a Sidewalk' ordinance between chalk and masking=20
tape.&nbsp; It really is just up to the police to interpret the =
ordinance=20
differently on a day-by-day basis and on a case-by-case =
basis.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>A demonstration to oppose passage of =
the ordinances=20
is planned today for 3PM at City Hall, 809 Center St. behind the Main=20
Library.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>The ordinances will be discussed (and =
yes passed)=20
on a second reading tonight as the first item on the 7 PM agenda.&nbsp; =
While=20
<STRONG>Mayor Christopher Krohn </STRONG>voted against the ordinances a =
week ago=20
by saying the process "had been rushed" who can believe him?&nbsp; He is =
the=20
mayor and he is the one who scheduled the special meeting just so the =
process=20
could be rushed and so this will be a done deal before most folks come =
back from=20
vacation and the students return in the fall.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><STRONG><U>Please call the City Council =
at (831)=20
420-5017 and leave a message about what you think of these=20
ordinances.</U></STRONG></FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>The fight for justice for poor and =
homeless people,=20
street musicians and entertainers will be a long and hard one.&nbsp; The =

downtown merchants, the police, and the City Council are pushing ahead =
with this=20
most egregious agenda.&nbsp; But our fight against this injustice is the =
good=20
fight.&nbsp; We have an uphill battle.&nbsp; But never despair, for we =
are right=20
and they are wrong.&nbsp; We support the right of the people to peacably =

assemble.&nbsp; We support freedom of speech.&nbsp; We support a =
community that=20
is for all the people, rich and poor, not just for the =
rich.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>for more info: Contact <STRONG>HUFF =
<EM>Homeless=20
United for Friendship &amp; Freedom&nbsp; </EM>(831)=20
423-HUFF</STRONG></FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>to contact Becky Johnson by e-mail =
<STRONG><A=20
href=3D"mailto:becky_johnson@sbcglobal.net">becky_johnson@sbcglobal.net</=
A>=20
</STRONG></FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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