Repeal Santa Cruz Sleeping Ban: CRSB Don't Sleep Night June 29

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sun, 7 Jun 1998 00:17:05 -0700 (PDT)


FWD  CC Replies to Becky Johnson <wmnofstl@cruzio.com>
     From: CRSB: THE COMMITTEE TO REPEAL THE SLEEPING BAN
           PO Box 1735, Santa Cruz, Ca. 95061
           (408) 457-9754 ext.182
           fax (408)429-8529
           http://www.got.net/~xavier/crsb

Those who wish to PLEDGE to stay awake the night of the 29th can e-mail
their pledge to <wmnofstl@cruzio.com>.

Santa Cruz City Council can be reached at (408) 429-3550, Mayor Celia Scott

"I think that something should be done to interrupt the sleep of people
who pass such laws."  ---   Howard Zinn on the Santa Cruz Sleeping Ban
at an event hosted by the Resource Center for Nonviolence 10/25/96


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Sat, Jun 6, 1998

The Committee to Repeal the Sleeping Ban gathered 3200 valid signatures
falling 600 short of the 3800 necessary to qualify for the November '98
ballot.

David Silva, one of the proponents, cited El Nino rains, the possible theft
of nearly a thousand signatures gathered on Earth Day this year, and an
unusually high error rate in the last ten days of a big push to put the
Sleeping Ban on the ballot so voters would have, for the first time in its
20 year history, gotten a chance to vote on the right to sleep for the
homeless.

"We are asking our supporters to contact City Council and urge them to
enact the Initiative to Repeal the Sleeping Ban as its own ordinance.  It
is reasonable, humane, and timely for them to do so.  The criminalization
of sleeping and of covering up with blankets must stop.  Nearly all the
people we talked to did not approve of the current law," said David Silva.

Proponents are seeking a 60 day extension from the City Clerk due to the
unprecedented El Nino rains during the months of December '97 thru May '98.
In that time period, five times the normal rainfall fell, reducing
signature gathering time to one/fifth. "We had a lot of trouble gathering
signatures indoors," said CRSB member, Becky Johnson. "We were driven out
of Costco, the Santa Cruz Public Library, the post office, churches,
schools, and private businesses.  I was threatened with arrest at a 200
resident retirement home, where I was gathering signatures. And I was a
guest of a resident there, but I was informed 'that was not allowed there'
by the manager."

Supporters are declaring the night of June 29th as Don't Sleep Tonight
Night in which all citizens are asked to not sleep between 11pm and 8:30
am,the hours in which sleeping is a criminal activity, to experience what
homeless people experience every night of the year in the City of Santa
Cruz, California.

MC 6.36.010 criminalizes sleeping & covering up with blankets 9 and a half
hours each night.  Two acts of sleeping OR covering up with blankets is a
misdemeanor, subject to 6 months in jail and/or up to $1000 fine.

Becky Johnson offered an alternative to staying awake all night. "If that
is too much of a hardship, then by all means sleep that night, but just
refrain from using any blankets, because those are illegal at night too."
Those who wish to pledge to stay awake the night of the 29th can e-mail
their pledge to wmnofstl@cruzio.com. Santa Cruz City Council can be reached
at (408)429-3550, Mayor Celia Scott

Those wishing to support our campaign to legalize sleep by making a
donation, please, Send checks made out to the COMMITTEE TO REPEAL THE
SLEEPING BAN.  Send it to po box 1735, Santa Cruz, Ca. 95061
For more info: contact Becky Johnson or David Silva at (408)457-9754 ext 182!

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