HUFF prepares for rainy weather tomorrow: Discussing the Upcoming Saturday protest at the Town Clock against Police Violence, the implications of City Council’s Shut down today, Soldarity with Berkeley and other Cities rising up to demand real change. Also up for consideration–Small Claims Court Struggle, Occupying Warming Centers in Winter, and…whatever else we can piece together. With coffee and munchies.
Last Council of the Year Takes a Bow Over the Bodies of the Poor
City Council meets today ignoring the national and local crisis around police class and race profiling. Ignoring foreign militarism, national police scandals, and local police profiling, they will be patting themselves on the back as they vote on a final escalation of the War Against the Poor. Here’s a reiteration of some items that are coming up.
UNTOUCHABLE CITY ATTORNEY AND CITY MANAGER
At 1 PM in Council chambers, City Council will be following a unusual procedure in holding the open interval of its closed session in this larger room. It will then retire to the smaller City Council Conference room behind the chambers where it usually meets behind closed doors in “Closed Session”.
What’s peculiar here is the process being followed. Two of the most powerful and well-paid officials in the City–the City Attorney and the City Manager are up for “performance evaluation”. The on-line agenda suggests that it will be behind closed doors with the public excluded.
BERNAL CONTROLS VOGEL
City Manager Martin Bernal controls the hiring and firing of the Police Chief Kevin Vogel.
The SCPD refuses to open its records of use and display of force, tasering, pain compliance holds, choke holds, gun drawings, baton use, and so forth (See “SCPD: No Disclosure of When People were PepperSprayed, Choked, Tasered, Gun-Bullied or Shot” at http://www.indybay.org/
Unaddressed claims of racial profiling also hang over the department (See “Race and Class Bias in the SCPD: What’s the Real Story?” at http://www.indybay.org/
City Council is legally required to open its closed sessions–however briefly–for public comment. Of course, Mayor Robinnson (and in-coming Mayor Don Lane) haven’t cared much for that in such matters as allowing unimpeded recording of City Council meetings (See “Video of the False Arrest at Santa Cruz City Council for Audio Recording ” at http://www.indybay.org/
“RESCUE TANKS” IN SANTA CRUZ?
Consent Agenda Item #13 is titled “2015 Homeland Security Grant Funding – Budget Adjustment (PD/FD)” This is likely to come up shortly after 2:30 PM.
See “Santa Cruz Police to Procure $250K ‘Rescue Vehicle'” at http://www.indybay.org/
Could be another Steve Clark special (he’s our reactionary Deputy Police Chief) rushing to amp up the department’s aggressive image? With anger against police abuse rising all around the country, it’s a good time
I’ve asked Councilmember Posner to pull this item from the agenda for discussion rather than a rote vote. The public has been banned from pulling items and requiring they be more fully discussed and individually voted on. Other City Councils, our Board of Supervisors, and past City Councils have had this rather elementary public process, but it was removed at the behest of former Mayor and incoming Supervisor Ryan Connerty some years back. Neither Posner nor Lane have moved to restore this process.
Cafe HUFF will be serving brownies and brew (that is, coffee) as well as Jumbogumbo Joe Schultz’s soup, hopefully as early as 2;30 PM
The time for this item is uncertain but probably between 3:30 and 4:30. Come early to be sure.
This is the latest anti-homeless eruption from the Public Safety Task Force/Public Safety Committee. It’s aother step demonization of the poor outside and follows on a long train of anti-homeless laws and policies.
The law that vastly increases the discretionary power of rangers and cops to arbitrarily ban people from large areas of the city (not just parks) for any infraction, no matter how minor with no court injunction, conviction, or charge.
To paper over this homegrown Constitution-shredding, the City Attorney came back with an “administrative review” process that would have the stay-away order dissolved if a city employee appointed by the city manager finds the infraction “unjustified” “by a preponderance of the evidence”.
The new wording of the ordinance is at http://scsire.cityofsantacruz.
All correspondence received by City Council has urged the law be voted down. But it is likely to pass 5-2 or 6-1.
The one-day stay away law, passed last year, and equally un-Constitutional and abusive passed unanimously. Councilmembers Posner and Lane have yet to apologize for this travesty which has been used 1000 times by Homeless Deportation squads in uniform, according to their own figures.
Steve Pleich has said he will appeal the proposed expansion of the law but probably not the current law.
ORAL COMMUNICATIONS AT 5 PM (OR SO)
Want to raise issues that others are raising on the streets (and that are planned for a Saturday day-long rally at the Town clock)? Come and speak out demanding fundamental changes in the SCPD. (See http://www.indybay.org/
QUAFF CAKE AND BEVERAGES AFTER THE CORONATION
At 7 PM outgoing Council blowhards will make speeches celebrating their wonderful terms in office and the in-coming Council elected people will do the same. Around 8 PM or soon thereafter, the whole jolly crew will cross the street to the Civic Auditorium where the public is invited to mingle and munch with them on various pastries and pies. It’s a tradition.
Fortify yourself for the Wednesday storm. Bring some homeless friends. Confront the privileged in public. While chowing down at the same time.
HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) meets Wednesday morning at the Sub rosa Cafe 11 AM to plan for protests and express solidarity with those in other cities.
FOR FLYERS AND FURTHER COMMENTS, GO TO: http://www.indybay.org/
Saturday Dec 6th, 2014 12:33 AM
I see rising national outrage against police, prosecutors, and politicians for the entrched system of callous class and vicious racial warfare. Will this find local expression in demands for profound change here in Santa Cruz? HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) will be serving Shout-Out Soup at Tuesday’s afternoon City Council meeting opposing the “Stamp-Out-the-Homeless” Stay-Away Orders. I’m also suggesting some ideas for a overturning the current SCPD system that covers up class and racial abuse, targets and scapegoats the homeless, packs the jails with Drug War criminals, and makes the community less safe. HUFF will be supporting a Saturday of protest on December 13th, demanding justice for us all.
In August of this year, the SCPD forwarded me its Policy 300, covering Use of Force. They also refused to respond to the substantive part of my request detailing when and where they drew their guns, shot their guns, used their tasers, initiated choke holds, used their clubs or pepper-sprayed. City Council’s “Public Safety” Committee has been spending its time wagging its tail behind the “Homeless Are Criminals” Public Safety Task Force and, as far as I know ignored this important issues that have now assumed national prominence. I include my initial Public Records Act request and the responses that followed.
Are racial stats available in regular reports that may clarify whether other police officers are disproportionately citing African-American (“black”) people in issuing citations. (See “Race and Class Bias in the SCPD: What’s the Real Story” at http://www.indybay.org/
When and where are the specific uses of force used, as described in the original Public Records Act above. Who used them? What injuries were created? Were the individuals so impacted ever charged with or convicted of crimes?
NOW IS THE TIME…. for public pressure and protest to demand answers to these questions, so Santa Cruz can separate itself from the National Shame of class and racial police abuse. With the national media focused on these issues, we are at our strongest point in raising issues long ignored here.
STRAIGHT FROM THE DARK POLICY MANUAL OF THE SCPD ITSELF:
SCPD PAIN-COMPLIANCE TECHNIQUES…”Officers may only apply those pain compliance techniques…when the officer reasonably believes that the use of such a technique appears necessary to further a legitimate law enforcement purpose.”
CHOKE HOLDS: “The carotid restraint may only be used when the officer reasonably believes that such a hold appears necessary to prevent serious injury or death to an officer or other person(s).”
DEADLY FORCE: “An officer may use deadly force to protect himself/herself or others from what he/she reasonably believes would be an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury…[or] to stop a fleeing suspect when the officer has probably cause to believe that the suspect has committed or intends to commit, a felony involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious bodily injury or death, and the officer reasonably believes that there is an imminent or future potential risk of serous bodily injury or death to any other person if the suspect is not immediately apprehended.”
LEG RESTRAINTS, CONTROL DEVICES, AND TASERS: Go to http://www.indybay.org/
THE LONG SNAKY TRAIL AND THE STRUGGLE YET AHEAD
In August of this year in response to a Public Records Act request, the SCPD forwarded me its Policy 300, covering Use of Force. However refused to respond to the substantive part of my request detailing when and where they drew their guns, shot their guns, used their tasers, initiated choke holds, used their clubs or pepper-sprayed. City Council’s “Public Safety” Committee has been spending its time wagging its tail behind the “Homeless Are Criminals” Public Safety Task Force. Yet these issues are of particular local importance for those of us who want to restore real peace and justice in our community. Hopefully this record may be helpful in those carrying on the investigation and the struggle.
I reprint the correspondence in Comment section below as well as my latest follow-up Public Records Act Request .
2011 SCPD POLICY MANUAL IN ALL ITS GLORY
For the 2011 SCPD Policy Manual go to http://www.indybay.org/
Hopefully Jacqui will be providing the updated manual (if it has been updated) soon.
If anyone else has been having fruitful correspondence (or unfruitful correspondence for that matter) with the SCPD–please post your results.
FURTHER DOCUMENTATION AT https://www.indybay.org/
A series of homeless related events and meetings is happening in the next few days. These include Thursday 12-4: 6:45 AM demolition of the important “Jungle” homeless camp in San Jose; 4 PM: Association of Faith Communities meets at the Red Church (Lincoln and Cedar) to discuss winter shelter & other issues; 5:30 PM: County Recommendation Input at Vet’s Hall for Homeless Planning in City and County; 6:30 PM San Jose “Jungle” report on the City’s destruction of the camps from Robert Aguirre at freakradio.org (101.3 FM); Friday 12-5: 5:30 PM Cooper & Pacific “Dump the Drones” Demo; 5-9 PM Farewell to Free Skool at Sub Rosa Cafe Saturday 12-6: 10 AM Downtown Xmas Parade; noon-3 UN Day at Abbot Square w/Media Benjamin…and more…
6:45 AM Demolition of the important “Jungle” homeless camp in San Jose;
4 PM: Association of Faith Communities meets at the Red Church (Lincoln and Cedar) to discuss winter shelter & other issues; 5:30 PM: County Recommendation Input at Vet’s Hall for Homeless Planning in City and County;
6:30 PM San Jose “Jungle” report on the City’s destruction of the camps from Robert Aguirre at freakradio.org (101.3 FM);
Friday 12-5: 5:30 PM Cooper & Pacific “Dump the Drones” Demo;
5-9 PM Farewell to Free Skool at Sub Rosa Cafe
Saturday 12-6: 10 AM Downtown Xmas Parade;
noon-3 UN Day at Abbot Square w/Media Benjamin;
4 PM Restore Rights to Food Servers Across the Country Sidewalk Near Main Post Office (see “Compassion is NOT a Crime – Food is a Right ” at http://www.indybay.org/
Not to mention…Protests at They Happen Against Racial Profiling and Police Abuse in Santa Cruz and Nationwide, especially after the NYC Grand Jury thumbs-up for the murderous police gang that choked to deathAfrican-American Eric Garner for “resisting arrest” in a stop for “illegally selling cigarettes”. See http://nypost.com/2014/12/03/
HOMELESS LIVES MATTER – EVICTION IS NOT THE SOLUTION TO HOMELESSNESS
We call on all allies and people of conscience to come to the so-called “Jungle” encampment at 6:30 am on this Thursday morning, December 4, to stand in solidarity with the homeless who are threatened with arrest for the “crime” of having nowhere to go. The City’s planned eviction of homeless residents is not the answer to San Jose’s homelessness problem. Simply arresting or dispersing people will not make them go away.
We applaud the City’s efforts that have so far housed some 144 encampment residents in the past 18 months. However,
many more than that number BECAME homeless during the same time period, due to the City’s misguided jobs-housing imbalance and its lax rent control laws. Residents who have moved out of the “Jungle” into housing have been replaced by new homeless people moving in.
The City should concentrate on housing the homeless, not moving them around from place to place. Moving them from one creek to another does not protect the environment. According to its own survey, 96% of encampment residents would move into affordable housing immediately if it became available.
To say that one of the richest cities in America does not have the resources to house its people is immoral and deceitful. The City Council has the opportunity to show the courage and vision to claim the resources that are there. Silicon Valley corporations have over $500 billion in cash reserves. To continue saying there is nothing we can do while our people are dying is a disservice to the fine and compassionate people of San Jose.
Robert Aguirre, H.O.M.E.L.E.S.S. 915-471-8674
Pastor Scott Wagers, CHAM Deliverance Ministry
Sandy Perry, Affordable Housing Network
NOTE BY NORSE: Santa Barbara and its neighbor Goleta are several (token) steps ahead of Santa Cruz. Santa Barbara has had a Safe Parking program on government lots for some time. Goleta now weighs in with a shower program. On the downside, activist and poet Peter Marin reports (http://radiolibre.org/brb/
Santa Cruz, meanwhile has stacked its Pacific Avenue with gun-toting cops, uniformed First Alarm “security” thugs, and “happy” Hosts adding phony public safety hysteria to its usual “clean ’em out for Xmas” program. City homeless haters are now planning to arm these “Get Movin’!” mannequins with further with “no conviction needed” stay-away powers on December 9th at City Council. (See “Stay-Away Stupidity Not on Tuesday’s 11-25 Council Agenda” at https://www.indybay.org/
Hey, what with drenching rain and dropping temperatures, who needs additional showers and shelter. There’s no plan on deck other than the usual well-intentioned pleas of a few activists to provide regular warming centers.
Goleta Council Approves Pilot Program to Provide Mobile Shower for Homeless
By Joshua Molina, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @JECMolina | Published on 12.02.2014 6:49 p.m.
Homeless people will have a place to take a shower under a pilot program offered by the City of Goleta and an advocacy group.
The trailer is self-contained with its own water tank, heater, wastewater holding tank and air conditioner.
The Goleta City Council voted 5-0 on Tuesday to approve the project.
“I think it is a fabulous idea,” new Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said. “I really believe it is the right thing to do. I can’t even imagine going days and days without a shower.”
Showers for the homeless people would be limited to about five minutes.
Initially, the mobile shower would be open one day per month, over a three-month period, beginning Dec. 29. The trailer would be parked in a rear parking lot of the community center, just north of the tennis courts.
The project would be a pilot program for three months, but eventually HEAL activists want to have the trailer visit regular sites, including St. Michael’s University Church and St. Mark’s Catholic Church, both in Isla Vista.
The hours would be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and homeless people would have to make an appointment to use the facilities.
HEAL activists said they do not tolerate intoxicated individuals.
Coming up for consideration and action: Demand and Protest at the the SCPD for independent investigation of racial and class citations in 2013 and 2014, considering the unsavory track record of Officer Bradley Barnett; Preparing for the Expansion of Police Power With Stay-Away Orders on December 9th; Righteous Shelter from the Rain: the Warming Center and Housing Crisis in Santa Cruz; …RV Power–How Can We Support the Only Affordable Housing Homeless People Have?…We got coffee and cocoa, you bring the thirst for justice…