[huffsantacruz] Santa Cruz City Council Votes on Final “Go Away-Stay Away” for Homeless Tuesday Oct. 28th 10-28

Title: Sip Soup at the City Council Double Header: Stay-Aways & Performance Pens
START DATE: Tuesday October 28
TIME: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location Details:
809 Center St. In front of City Hall The protest and chow-down will take place outside City Council chambers.
Event Type: Other
Munch-about, Speak-out, and Make-It-Up-As-You Go outside City Council at 3 PM.

WARNING: The actual time when these items will appear on the Council’s agenda is unclear and uncertain. If you want to be sure to be there for the “we hate to hear you, but we have to” Public Comment periods, come early and bring a blanket, pillow, and teddy bear. The Open Session meeting starts at 2 PM.

We’ll be discussing how to react to the new ordinances, composing new songs to sing, and perhaps discussing legal alternatives.

Additionally Chef “Punch Back” Pat Colby has promised some Buck-Up Brownies and Cut-the-Crap coffee for those who keep falling asleep during the day because sleeping is illegal for the homeless at night.

City Council Agenda Items 16 (Exploding Stay Away Orders) and 19 (Performance Pens on Pacific Avenue) are due to be rubberstamped sometime after the Council meeting starts at 2 PM.

STAY AWAY-LAW

I’ve described the law:
“Nasty Anti-Homeless Stay-Away Laws to Get Exponentially Worse ” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/12/18762778.php

For articulate and well-reasoned opposition to the Stay-Away Orders Escalation, see:

“Stay-Away From Human Rights ! An Activist Examines the Escalating Stay-Away Orders Law” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/25/18763326.php

“Local ACLU Issues Stong Statement in Opposition to “Stay Away” Ordinance”at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/24/18763274.php

“Time to Step Up and Fight City Hall on “Stay Away” Ordinanc” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/22/18763162.php

PERFORMANCE PENS

This law expands from 12 square feet to 24 square feet the performing/vending/tabling room on Pacific Ave. in any one space.

It also marks with dots on the sidewalk the “allowed” areas (which still amount to less than 2% of the sidewalk). And ir requires only certain activities happen on certain parts of the sidewalk (performance, vending and tabling, or all three).

An apparent additional consequence is to severely lessen the space for panhandlers and sitters.

In addition the notorious Move-Along-Every-Hour law remains in place.

This is the first reading of the law–which has had no prior public hearing where the real stakeholders could assemble and give their views in a meaningful way. Don Lane has been privately assembling information along with staffer Julie Hende.

There will be a second, final, and likely slamdunk reading of the law in two weeks.

The staff report, maps, ordinance, and resolution can all be found on line at http://scsire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=570&doctype=AGENDA .

ADDITIONAL ITEM ON RESTORING THE RIGHT TO AUDIO RECORD WITHOUT ARREST OR CONFISCATION

Item B4 of the Closed Session and 9d of the Open Session Consent Agenda concerns my financial claim against the
City for falsely arresting me on April 1st for replacing my audio recorder in its traditional place.

Council’s SCPD guard Sgt. John Bush has continued to confiscate my recording device at each subsequent meeting. This happens if I leave it to check the agenda, go to the bathroom, stand at the side of the room, or interview someone outside. He will likely do so again at this meeting.

See “Video of the False Arrest at Santa Cruz City Council for Audio Recording on April 1” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/05/03/18755258.php

If you want to comment on this item at Closed Session, go to the City Council Conference Room behind the Chambers at 1 PM for the open interval. You may have to knock loudly to get in. You will also not be told to leave during the subsequent discussion.

The issue will arise again when the City Attorney reports the rejection of the claim on the Consent Agenda at Open Session where brief comment is allowed.

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Stay-Away From Human Rights ! An Activist Examines the Escalating Stay-Away Orders Law

by Raven Davis (posted by Norse)
Saturday Oct 25th, 2014 8:51 PM

HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) activists Raven Davis and Maya Iverson spent many hours culling through citations and stay-away orders from the Parks and Recreation Department for the last year and a half. Their results show a pattern of homeless harassment and suggest very few of the citations or stay aways are for real crimes that threaten anyone. Mostly infractions used to discourage and drive away homeless folks. The proposed escalation of penalties, Davis predicts, will be even more abusive.

 

Presented are some selections from Raven Davis’s letter. The complete letter, the raw date, a spread sheet made of the data, and a follow-up letter are included below.Santa Cruz City Council
809 Center Street, Room 10
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Dear Members of the City Council,

I’m writing to urge you against adopting the proposed amendment to section 13.08.100 of the Municipal Code Pertaining to Orders to Vacate Park Property. Data collected from the 2013-2014 Parks & Recreation citations shows that the adoption of this amendment will disproportionally affect homeless people. Furthermore, it also shows that claims of disruptive behavior interfering with proper usage of city parks and beaches presently have no grounds for substantiation. In light of this information, and the threats of civil suits that others are already planning (should this amendment be adopted), I implore you to look at the data yourselves.

…[A] small percentage (<1%) of the citations written by Park Rangers include charges for behavior that interferes with either Ranger duties or use of a city beach or park as described in ordinance 13.08.090 Disorderly Conduct on Park Property. In fact, nearly 100% of the citations written were for non-violent, non-disruptive infractions. The most cited infraction was 6.36.011 [Camping Prohibited] (c) – Setting-up Campsite – Anytime, at 23% of the total charges written. Combined with infractions for 6.36.010 [Camping Prohibited] (a) – Sleeping – 11 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 6.36.010 [Camping Prohibited] (b) – Setting-up Bedding – 11 p.m. to 8:30 a.m., charges for illegally camping on public property account for more than one third (38%) of all charges written by Park Rangers since January 2013. Following camping are infractions for 13.04.010 Limitations on Access and use of Public Property. This seems to be the result of homeless people taking refuge in off limits areas of public properties. The third most cited infraction was 9.50.050 Smoking on Public Property on Public Property. While secondhand smoke is certainly a health hazard and a deterrent for most people, smoking is generally not a disruptive or highly threatening activity.

As it turns out, 50% of these 1,166 citations were addressed to 115 Coral St., the Homeless Services Center. Another 19% were addressed to P.O. Boxes, marked for General Delivery, or labeled “Transient.” Given that these designations are often signifiers of homelessness, we can reasonable say that homeless people account for 69% of the citations written by Park Rangers between 2013 and the present. On top of being more likely to receive a citation at all, since the enactment of ordinance 13.08.100 of the Municipal Code Pertaining to Orders to Vacate Park Property homeless people (shelter residents, transient people, people with no residential address) are more likely to receive an order to vacate than an offender with a local address (within Santa Cruz County) or offenders with non-local addresses.

Citation Charges

6.36.010 [Camping Prohibited] (a) – Sleeping – 11 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. 163 14%
6.36.010 [Camping Prohibited] (b) – Setting-up Bedding – 11 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. 20 2%
6.36.011 [Camping Prohibited] (c) – Setting-up Campsite – Anytime 273 23%

9.50.050 Smoking on Public Property on Public Property 199 17%
9.12.020 Consumption of Intoxicating Liquors in Public Places 58 5%
9.12.030 Display of Open Containers 113 9%
9.12.050 Possession of Intoxicating Liquor in San Lorenzo Park. 8 1%

13.04.010 Limitations on Access and use of Public Property 257 21%

9.50.030 Abuse or Mutilation of Trees, Plants and Lawn 16 1%
8.14.320 Leash Required for Dogs Off Premises 22 2%
8.14.200 Dogs in Public Places – Prohibited Location 27 2%
9.50.016 Public Urination and Defecation Prohibited 20 2%
13.08.050 Fires Prohibited 6 0%
6.12.080 Solid Waste on Streets Prohibited [Littering] 9 1%
9.50.010 Obstruction of Movement in Public Ways 7 1%
13.08.090 Disorderly Conduct on Park Property (*Misdemeanor*) 2 0%
13.08.100 Order to Vacate – Violation (*Misdemeanor*) 0%
Bikes – Prohibited Location 1 0%

Total Entries 1202

Number of Citations with 2 or More Charges 37 3%
All 6.36.010 – Camping Prohibited Charges 456 38%
All Alcohol Related Charges 179 15%


The SCPD has sent a total of 879 citations to be waived by the city attorney from 2012 – present. 178 of those citations were sent because the armory was full (Winter 2012 and Winter 2013). The other 701 were sent because the recipients of the citations were on the waiting list for shelter service on the date of the citation.

Given these facts, it is clear that if adopted the proposed amendment to 13.08.100 of the Municipal Code Pertaining to Orders to Vacate Park Property would be ineffectual at best and discriminatory at worst. I fully believe Parks & Recreation Director Shoemaker when she says that Park Rangers don’t have the time to perform the fun, educational parts of their jobs, because they have to spend their time writing citations. We have several laws that criminalize the necessary to life acts of homeless people and we have a large number of unsheltered homeless people trying to live in parks. Further criminalizing these citizens for their “behaviors” isn’t going to solve this problem. If anything, we need a moratorium on such ordinances; that way, neither Park Rangers nor homeless people will have to worry about all of these citations. It’s time to address the homelessness crisis in Santa Cruz full on and work toward some bigger, long-term solutions.

Personally, I believe we need a Homelessness Task Force, a team of homeless, formerly homeless, city staff, county staff, homeless service providers, faith community members, and housed-citizens to research solutions and propose initiatives to the City Council for funding.

I think it’s remarkably ludicrous that such a group is not currently in place. Councilmembers Terrazas, Comstock, Bryant, and Mathews, if any of you actually care about the people of Santa Cruz, all of them, rich or poor, then you will change your vote and prevent the adoption of this amendment. And if you can get your heart back from whatever person or corporation bought it from you, you will team up with Vice Mayor Lane and Councilmember Posner to design a social service program, such as a Homelessness Task Force.

It is not okay that we have so many homeless people in Santa Cruz. I shouldn’t have to tell you this. You should see it on the streets and you should feel it in your bones; it should shake your core and disturb your soul simply because it is unfair, unjust, and unnecessary in a city, a county, a state, a country like ours. We can do better. We can take care of each other. Yet, for some reason, people like you don’t want to acknowledge the issue or put in the effort to fix it.

Did that offend you? I hope so, because I want you to make me look like a fool and prove me wrong in front of the entire city. Go ahead. Show me who you really are and stand up for something meaningful and urgent. Show me that the members of HUFF didn’t waste over 50 man-hours (32 from me alone) over the five days putting together this data and analysis, only for you to be too stupid or too shallow or too heartless to see the truth.

If you’ve managed to make it this far through the letter, thank you. Thank you for at least taking the time to read this. If you don’t despise me and have any questions, please let me know; I will answer them to the best of my ability. I do intend on making a statement at the hearing of this issue and will be prepared to answer questions at that time as well.

Sincerely, Raven Davis

FURTHER FACTS AND FIGURES AVAILABLE AT https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/25/18763326.php

 

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ACLU Finally Squeaks Up Against the Stay-Away Orders

HUFFsters:  Councilmember Posner got this S.C. ACLU Resolution opposing the expansion of MC 13.08.100.  Most of it is taken up citing another case, the Cyr case, to persuade the City Council that the Stay-Away expansion would run afoul of the Constitution as recently interpreted by the courts.   It’s rare and positive to have the ACLU issue such a statement, though I understand it is not soliciting legal help locally to challenge the ordinance.  Vice-Chair Steve Pleich has told me that his Homeless Persons Legal Assistance project (which is primarily his solo venture) will take it on if he can find five plaintiffs (See “Time to Step Up and Fight City Hall on “Stay Away” Ordinance” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/22/18763162.php  ).
The ordinance also not only gives a stay-away at the whim of the cop once she or he issues an infraction citation, but also includes all prior areas where 13.08.100 stay-away’s were given in the prohibition.  So for instance if you get a ticket for smoking in a distant area of San Lorenzo Park for the first time, you get a one-day stay away (if it’s your first stay-away).  If you then get a ticket for camping in the Pogonip some days later, you get a week stay away, but also a week stay-away from San Lorenzo Park.
The ordinance is also retroactive to the hundreds of one-day stay away’s already given in the prior year.  HUFF activists have been tracking these orders and there are hundreds of them.  Given almost entirely to homeless people and for such “crimes” as smoking, camping, and being in a park after dark.
The iron hand of the Parks and Recreation Department not only extends to a few parks but also to the following areas (according to MC 13.04.0111, “without limitation all city parks, greenbelts, all city park trails and roads, all city park facilities and buildings, including Lighthouse Field State Beach, DeLaveaga Golf Course, Main Beach, Cowell’s Beach, Steamer Lane, Harvey West Pool, the Beach Flats Community Center, the Louden Nelson Community Center, the Teen Center, the Civic Auditorium, City Hall Courtyard, Mission Plaza, the Town Clock, the Natural History Museum, the Surfing Museum, Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, Pacific Avenue, West Cliff Drive (Pelton Street to Swanton Boulevard), the San Lorenzo River Levee and bike path, the San Lorenzo Benchlands, the inner banks of the San Lorenzo River within the City limits, the Branciforte and Cabonera Creeks within the city limits, Jessie Street Marsh, plus any other facilities or areas assigned to the parks and recreation department by the city manager.”
In spite of hundreds of unconstitutional Stay-Away orders from the park (1 day stay-away orders) given out over the last year, the ACLU has said nothing & offered no help (even in the form of public statements opposing the sweeps and targeted harassment of homeless people).  Now ACLU Chair Peter Geldblum opens hiss dusty lawbooks to suddenly discover it’s been unconstitutional for the last 15 months.  Pardon my bile, but the prior collusion continues to smell very bad.  Geldblum is the same smiling chairperson who voted against the homeless right to sleep at night, ordered homeless guests out of the ACLU meeting before the agenda item was over, and successfully muzzled the ACLU on the issue during the prior year  (See “Homeless Take ACLU Sleeping Ban Suspension Resolution to City Council”

at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/07/07/18758378.php ).

HUFF resumes drinking and debating 11 AM Wednesday 10-22 703 Pacific

HUFF is doing its thing again tomorrow–looking forward to adding a little Truth Through Sarcasm at the next City Council meeting which may be (a) criminalizing people in the parks for up to a year without trial, and (b) setting up the promised performer cages on Pacific Avenue.  I’ll also be seeking volunteers for an End Police State in Santa Cruz protest at Center and Laurel at 2 PM.   We’ll be reviewing the latest contortions of the City Attorney’s office around the Camping Ban.  And more!

“No Ferguson in Santa Cruz!” Protest Resumes 2 PM Wednesday at Center and Laurel



Title: October 22nd “Say No to Police Abuse” Day Protest Against Racial and Homeless Profiling
START DATE: Wednesday October 22
TIME: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Location Details:
Cop Corner at Laurel and Center Streets across from Louden Nelson Center.
Event Type: Protest
Contact Name Robert Norse
Email Address rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
Phone Number 8314234833
Address 5749 Hiway 9 #A
October 22nd is a Day of National Concern and Protest against police violence. (Seehttp://www.october22.org/ )

In Santa Cruz, a collusive City Council prepares to hand greater enforcement and banishment powers over to individual officers and rangers with it steroid-enhanced expansion of Stay Away Orders (See “Nasty Anti-Homeless Stay-Away Laws to Get Exponentially Worse” athttp://www.october22.org/)

Recently there have been reports of an SCPD assault on Oliver Howard on October 11th (“Witnesses Report Excessive Use of Force by SCPD during Arrest near Court House” athttp://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/20/18763064.php

The review of the citation records of Community Service Officer B. Barnett has revealed a disturbing pattern apparently targeting homeless persons and disproportionately citing African-Americans.
(See attached citation record of Officer Barnett)

Nearly 3/4 of Barnett’s citations in his ignoble career downtown have involved citing homeless people for essentially victimless crimes (sitting, smoking, skateboarding). Nearly 10% of his citations were for African-Americans in a county that is 1.4% black by a recent census.

Other recent incidents of alleged racial profiling written up on this website include

“Santa Cruz Police and First Alarm Brutalize and Arrest People for Being Black and Homeless” athttp://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/08/21/18760436.php

“Selective Enforcement of Smoking Ban, Obstruction of Video Reporting–Report to the Chief!” athttp://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/08/02/18759451.php .

A prior protest is shown and described here: “Protesters Demand Faster Response from SCPD Regarding Record’s Requests” at
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/09/23/18761997.php

The ongoing attack on homeless people is intensifying as winter gets closer as church programs are cut back, city council rubberstamps harsher laws, and the SCPD continues in its role in an ongoing Class War.

The SCPD continues to seek more money for surveillance software (license plate readers), declines to provide records of its contacts with other agencies re: military-style equipment and other forms of prepared repression against political protesters such as those in the Occupy Movement.

We will continue to be organizing volunteers to defend the rights of homeless people (Homeless Encampment Defense) as well as co-ordinate Copwatch efforts city-wide.

Come on down for “Don’t Beat ‘em, Eat ‘Em’” brownies and Mid-Day Coffee. Hoist a sign to defend the rights of all of us in public spaces sick of a militarized downtown.

Added to the calendar on Tuesday Oct 21st, 2014 6:25 PM


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§Homeless Cites

by Robert Norse Tuesday Oct 21st, 2014 6:25 PM

Responding to the New ‘Doo-Doo’ Not Due Process in the Homeless ‘”Stay Away” Law 2

This comment is part of a longer article on the City Council’s new anti-homeless law massively expanding “stay-away” orders for homeless people from all areas of Santa Cruz controlled by the Parks & Recreation Department.   The rest of the article can be found at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/12/18762778.php .
HUFF ACTIVISTS WILL BE VISITING THE CITY COUNCIL OFFICES TO VIEW THE LAST YEAR’S STAY AWAY ORDERS 11 AM TODAY OCTOBER 16TH.    WE INVITE ANYONE INTERESTED IN THE COMMUNITY TO JOIN US.  THE ADDRESS OF THE OFFICES IS AT 809 CENTER ST.   BRING STRONG STOMACHS.
by Robert Norse

Thursday Oct 16th, 2014 2:08 AM

Some HUFFsters and I will be going in to City Hall later today to count all stay-away orders since July of 2013 whenthe law went into effect after being passed for a final reading at the first City Council meeting of June 2013. Those citations are available for anyone to view after finally being released in response to a Public Records Act request I made in August. Dannettee Shoemaker was not immediately forthcoming.

Last month, I requested all the Parks and Recreation Department [P & R] citations for MC 6.36 (the camping ordinance) during the 2013-2014 period and was simply given bundles of all citations for all offenses to look through. Apparently this department does not index its citations or at least did not provide them to us on request.

Interestingly enough, the SCPD initially insisted it too had no such index. After repeated prodding and showing up in person to view the tickets, the department eventually provided us with a listing of all citations in the downtown area.. It took repeated requests to get the addresses of the people cited (so as to calculate the attention given to homeless folks). You can view an example of the SCPD’s matrix–for Officer Barnett’s citations–below. This something the P & R won’t or can’t provide requiring us to examine the citations individually. I’ve also requested Micah Posner request staff to make this information available, but similar requests in the past have fallen on deaf ears.

It seems pretty important in creating an ordinance this severe and unprecedented to get some sense of what the cost, the extent, the target, and the effectiveness of stay-away orders has been over the last year. Stay-away orders are traditionally issued by a court after a conviction and only from a very particular place. Given P & R’s broad authority over much city property, these orders could be issued routinely and repeatedly with increasing severity for the most minor offenses.

Considering that most homeless people smoke (70+% compared with less than 20% of the general population), it’s no wonder that the “crime rate” is rising. Creates more demand for more cops and more enforcement. Since more is illegal. Not to mention sleepcrime citations.

Note that race is not included in the SCPD records–except on the citations themselves (and presumably in the inaccessible police reports), so we will still be returning to the SCPD to examine more closely the racial component of the citations, which apparently the SCPD doesn’t think enough of to add to its matrix (strange, since I’d imagine such stats may be required by the FBI or other federal agencies).

For the matrix of Officer Barnett’s citations downtown–to get any idea of how heavily weighted they are against homeless people, go to http://www.indybay.org/uploads/2014/09/18/barnett_cites.pdf . The longer story is at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/09/17/18761766.php,http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/09/15/18761683.php , and http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/09/23/18761997.php . The racial stats were roughly counted as being given out to seven times as many people as were recorded as black in the last United Way census. We hope to more closely analyze them.

COUNCIL SLOUCHES ONWARD
The vastly expanded City Council law will be going into effect on November 28th or thereabouts if it passes again as it’s likely to on October 28th with a 5-2 vote.

Some pointed out at last Tuesday’s meeting (myself included) that their proposed law law mandates the stay-away’s prior to any court charge, hearing, trial, or conviction. What was not noted is that any stay-away is an additional action which is completely discretionary. This discretionary loophole allows rangers and cops to pick and choose who they’ll issue the orders to with no guideline as to when to do it. It is police state authorization in its purest form–leaving the matter entirely up to the officer. And, of course, completely beyond court review–even if the officer’s victim is never tried, had charges dismissed, or is found not guilty.

But the discretionary provision explicitly authorizes and hence encourages selective enforcement depending on the preference of the citing officer. Easy enough to decide that an homeless person sleeping gets a “stay-away” order while a more well-dressed smoker gets off without one (though a high fine for both).

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HUFF sings–rain or shine. 11 AM 10-15 Sub Rosa 703 Pacific

HUFFsters meet and greet chatting about  The Great Park Pagrom (City Council Votes 1 Year Stay-Away Orders Without Benefit of Court); Another Keep ‘Em Honest Records Check at City Hall after the Meeting or a Day Later; Upcoming:  Going Dotty on Pacific Avenue–the Upcoming Performance Cages; and numerous other bits and pieces I’m too tired to sort out at this moment…  Come on down and check ‘em out!

Driving the Destitute Out of Public Spaces–the War in Santa Cruz Heats Up

Title: Nasty Anti-Homeless Stay-Away Laws to Get Exponentially Worse
START DATE: Tuesday October 14
TIME: 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Location Details:
809 Center ST. City Council Chambers Santa Cruz
At the afternoon City Council meeting. The item is the third of three other Public Hearings scheduled, so it may come up significantly later than 3, and perhaps (though it’s unlikely) earlier.
Event Type: Meeting
Contact Name Robert Norse
Email Address RNORSE3 [at] HOTMAiL.COM
Phone Number 831-423-4833
Address 309 Cedar #14B
CRACKING DOWN ON THE POOR 
Agenda Item #21 is a staff-generated proposal to vastly increase the amount of time those given low-level infraction tickets in city parks can be forced to stay away from the park. 

The ordinance expanded to monstrous proportions is MC 13.08.100 described as “ORDER TO VACATE ANY PROPERTY MAINTAINED BY THE PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT”. 

STAY-AWAY ORDERS WILDLY EXPANDED 
The proposed penalty for violating such an order is a misdemeanor conviction (up to a year in jail or $1000 fine). 

Specifically, according to the staff report: 

“The proposed amendment provides for incremental increases in time that a person receiving a citation in a City park, beach or any other property maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department must stay away from the property where the arrest was made or citation issued. 
(a) First offense (existing ordinance): Twenty-four hours from the time of the citing/arresting officer’s order. 
(b) Second offense within one week of the first offense: One week from the date of the citing/arresting officer’s order in response to the second offense. 
(c) Third offense within thirty days of the second offense: Thirty days from the date of the citing/arresting officer’s order in response to the third offense. 
(d) Fourth offense within six months of the third offense: Six months from the date of the citing/arresting officer’s order in response to the fourth offense. 
(e) Fifth offense within one year of the fourth offense: One year from the date of the citing/arresting officer’s order in response to the fifth offense.” 

HOMELESS REMOVAL–NO DUE PROCESS REQUIRED! 
Note that one doesn’t have to be convicted of any offense, even charged in court with any offense, simply cited for an offense for this law to go into effect. 

Since the original 13.08.100 was passed in 2013, many have been given one-day stay-away’s along with their smoking, camping, or “park closed” citations. This law is designed to punish and exclude homeless people without the need to go to court and actually prove a crime. 

FUN FOR THOSE STALKING THE HOMELESS–NOT JUST IN THE PARKS! 
Also note that the sway of this new law goes far beyond the city parks, since it also applies to “any other property maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department.” 

This apparently includes, according to MC 13.04.0111, 
“without limitation all city parks and greenbelts, all city park trails and roads, all city park facilities and buildings, including Lighthouse Field State Beach, DeLaveaga Golf Course, Main Beach, Cowell’s Beach, Steamer Lane, Harvey West Pool, the Beach Flats Community Center, the Louden Nelson Community Center, the Teen Center, the Civic Auditorium, City Hall Courtyard, Mission Plaza, the Town Clock, the Natural History Museum, the Surfing Museum, Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, Pacific Avenue, West Cliff Drive (Pelton Street to Swanton Boulevard), the San Lorenzo River Levee and bike path, the San Lorenzo Benchlands, the inner banks of the San Lorenzo River within the City limits, the Branciforte and Cabonera Creeks within the city limits, Jessie Street Marsh, plus any other facilities or areas assigned to the parks and recreation department by the city manager.” 

CRIME WAVE! 
The specifically stated crimes of “chronic violators” includes “smoking, possession of alcoholic beverages, camping, 
public urination and entering a closed area”. Folks apparently commit these dangerous behaviors and return 24-hours later (which is the limit of stay-away orders under the current law). 

The purpose–the report continues-is to give the police more tools. 
There is no indication of any increase in real “crime” in the parks, simply a determination to drive travelers and local homeless people away. 

The statistics provided claim 
21 subjects violated the order returning to the park within 24 hour and were subsequently arrested. 
77 subjects returned to the parks or beaches after to 24 hours were up however, were given a second order to vacate for continuous unlawful behaviors. 
26 subjects received three orders to vacate. 
12 subjects received 4 orders to vacate. 
1 individual received 13 orders to vacate. 

MISSING FROM THE REPORT 
However they give no indication of what these people were cited for, whether they were actually charged in court, nor whether the individuals charged were actually convicted of those “crimes”. 

Bathrooms in the parks close at dusk or earlier. There are, of course, no sleeping areas in the City for the vast majority of those outside where it is legal to be. And only one 24-hour portapotty in the downtown area (the Posner Pooper). 

WHY BOTHER TO TALK TO THE VICTIMS OR INFORM THE PUBLIC? 
It is not clear that any homeless or social service agencies have been consulted. I’ve not heard that any out reach has been done to the homeless community. This is the 21st century equivalent of Sunset Laws where blacks were told to be “gone by sundown” from many towns in the country. 

There has been no mention of this proposed Council deportation of homeless people in the kept media (Sentinel, Good Times, City on a Hill. 

READ THE REPORT, THEN ROAR BACK 
Staff reports and ordinance can be found at Council’s agenda athttp://scsire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=569&doctype=AGENDA under agenda item #21. 

City Council members need to be e-mailed at citycouncil [at] cityofsantacruz.com . Individual council members can be reached by taking the first initial and last name of the Council member and adding @cityofsantacruz.com to it (e.g. mposner [at] cityofsantacruz.com

Dannettee Shoemaker and Martin Bernal are two of the highest paid officials in the City earning over $200,000 a year (not counting their benefits). They have signed their name to this police state measure–need to be horsewhipped and put in the stocks for this latest attack. 

TOWN-WIDE IMPACT 
The consequence of the massively increased policing downtown, expanded stay-away orders, anti-median ordinance, and authority-encouraged bigotry against those outside has been pressure on the churches who do provide services. 

The Circles Church has closed down its warming center and some of its meal services. The Red Church no longer allows people on its lawns prior to the meal. 

COST OF THE MANUFACTURED CRISIS? UNKNOWN. 
There is no indication of the cost in manpower and tax expense for the increased “drive ‘em out” policies of the Robinson-Mathews City Council during the last two years. 

Nor any estimation of how much the increased penaltes will cost–especially if contested in court. Already the city is facing a potential class-action lawsuit from activists gathering data about the amount of homeless property destroyed by police and rangers. 

The repeated citations are obviously taking police and ranger attention away from other areas and aren’t free. Apart from the immorality and futility of the whole thing, there’s no indication of the expense involved. 

REAL CRIMINALS ARE THOSE IN POWER 
Dannettee Shoemaker head of Parks and Recreation and Martin Bernal, City Manager, are two of the highest paid officials in the City earning over $200,000 a year (not counting their benefits). They have signed their names to this police state measure. 

The class war on the poor is advancing relentlessly under color of law. 

Santa Cruz: Getting Closer to the Truth About Marijuana Citations and Arrests

 

 

Homeless people are particularly vulnerable to the Drug War.  Yet from the stats acquired from the SCPD, it appears that in the last six month period not one citation or arrest was made for marijuana use, possession, transportation, or sales for anyone with a “transient” or “115 Coral St” address.  This does not jibe with my anecdotal understanding as someone who has interviewed people regularly for Free Radio Santa Cruz.
 
The Measure K Committee refused to ask the SCPD for its actual records on marijuana citations and arrests, to see if if is complying with the law. The law is the Measure K Initiative passed in 2006 by the voters (over City Council hostility). That requires that marijuana enforcement for those over 21 on private property be “the lowest enforcement priority.”


In a prior article, “Measure K Committee Craps Out Again–Another Free Ride for the SCPD” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/06/18762534.php, I described how the Measure K Committee again refused at its token meeting on 10-6 to even request, much less examine, the actual citation and arrest record of the SCPD regarding marijuana. It simply rubberstamped the police summary as being Measure K compliant.

To do this requires to look at occasions where citations and arrests were made on private property and what the circumstances were.

Committee member Coral Brune independently requested those records and forwarded them to me. I reprint them below.

I will encourage Brune to make a follow-up request to view the actual citations and reports. If she won’t, I will. The citations and arrests need to be examine individually to see if police actually did follow the law.

As for discrepancies regarding the number of citations/arrests for homeless folks,  I as yet have no explanation.  It seems highly unlikely that not one citation or arrest happened during the period from November 2013 to the present which involved a homeless person.
To view the more extensive police summary of the citations and arrests made for marijuana incidents during this period, go to https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/10/10/18762717.php .