NOTES BY NORSE: This article by Councilmember Glover and attached commentary gives some important background on the evening session coming up at City Council for Tuesday night. A speak-out and protest outside Council chambers will begin at 6:15 PM with food supplied by Jumbogumbo Joe Schultz of India Joze.
Originally, the protest was intended to focus on continued harassment by SCPD and P & R rangers harassing and citing homeless folks in public places, with some reports that folks living in their own camps were being driven to the Ross Camp. Though the Ross Camp has been provided with some more (but still inadequate) facilities in the last month, it is still badly overcrowded and under severe pressure from raging neighbors.
In response, HUFF called for additional campgrounds, laundry and shower services, and the end to citations for being in a park after dark, reopening public bathrooms during the day and at night city-wide, and protecting the rights of those whose homes are their vehicles.
Councilmembers Glover and Krohn were rebuffed on rent control/just eviction and then by the City Manager and Mayor Watkins for not putting homelessness on the last January Council meeting. In response, Glover mobilized his interns to propose 6 measures in consultation with homeless activists, and folks from Ross Camp and the RV community itemized in the PDF’s attached to his Indybay story “The Fierce Urgency of Now”.
Glover and Krohn may have a 4-person majority on City Council not just to pass the homelessness resolutions, but also to rein in Mayor “One Minute” Martine Watkins censorship proclivities which were in full foul flower at the last Council meeting. Speaking times were reduced to one minute, speakers were excluded, speakers were interrupted, and oral communications was crunched and contracted in her desire to “welcome” a foreign delegation from Japan. There was little protest if any from the “Progressives” at the January meetings.
Unless members of the audience demand it vocally, there’s no guarantee we won’t see a repeat of this disgraceful performance on February 12th. Folks need to come in numbers, ready to speak out, unroll sleeping bags, hold up signs, and stand their ground.
Note that there is no mention of rent control or just eviction, just a fig leaf proposal for yet another Task Force that will babble while tenants and their supporters get driven out of town.
Come on down to City Council on Tuesday at 6:15 PM. Form connections with folks at the Ross Campground. Contact City Council by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org
)or phone (831-420-5020) . And contact HUFF at 423-4833 or rnorse3@hotmail..com to be advised of upcoming flash protests and to resist the demolition of the Ross Campground.
The Fierce Urgency of Now
by Santa Cruz City Councilmember Drew Glover
Friday Feb 8th, 2019 10:45 PM
This Wednesday I went to the “Ross Camp” with some of the interns that work with me at the Resource Center for Nonviolence to get an update on the situation and to engage people in a conversation about poverty. As we arrived we met Mel Nunez, a dedicated advocate for the poor and representative from our local faith communities. [Photo: The view of the Ross Camp from the River Street side.]
We joined him in passing out anti-microbial “Bombas” socks, fresh apples, salad greens, spinach and water. It was almost immediately after we arrived that people began to approach us expressing their need for food, materials and clothing…