Councilmember Posner Calls for 24-Hour Bathroom Support at Council today

 

 
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Jun 9th, 2015 1:56 PM

On May 26, City Council voted, at Councilmember Comstock’s initiative, to direct staff to investigate if not add 24-hour bathroom access. See “City Council Unanimously Votes on Two 24-hour Bathrooms” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/06/02/18773019.php Recently activists, led by Brent Adams, have focused on the lack of adequate cleaning of the “Posner portapotty” at Laurel and Front Streets, and enlisted some community members to do the job, Parks and Rec has declined to do.
Today the final budget comes up for discussion and vote at 7 PM. Councilmember Micah Posner, apparently anxious that staff opposition will kill the proposal, has asked the community to come and support. I forward his e-mail and my response.

Posner’s E-Mail:

Dear Activists,

As you know the City Staff are very concerned about Council’s direction to keep some bathrooms open all night. Their concerns are totally legitimate. After all staff are the ones who will have to supervise the proposed program.

The City Council, led by Pamela Comstock, has, so far, courageously, directed the staff to find some way to keep bathrooms open at night.

If people want to support this direction, you should be supportive. Bring flowers, appreciations and constructive suggestions. This is not a time for a negative protest, not even a polite negative protest. The Council can use your SUPPORT. This is completely different from the BEARCAT thing where you were being ignored and it needs a completely different
response.

AND, the idea of ramping this up into bringing excrement to the Council is completely counterproductive, in addition to being totally rude.

There is no better way to ruin the chances of the City opening bathrooms up at night than to bring shit to a Council that is being supportive of these efforts. I am totally shocked that activists who I respect came up with this idea. To be honest it makes me not want to share information with some of you.

My request: completely change the Facebook Event to encourage people to SUPPORT a City Council that wants to open bathrooms. Meet people at 6:45 and explain why being positive and supportive is the best way for them to get bathrooms open at night.

Thank you hearing me,
Micah Posner

MY RESPONSE

A City that declines to provide elementary sanitation services at night should not have to be wooed with flowers and candy.

The problem seems to be that the Staff (who Micah praises as usual) wants to reverse the will of the Council as expressed on May 26—the reason he’s asked homeless people (and housed folks) to come to the meeting.

And since the staff is usually the tail that wags the Council dog, as one activist put it, there’s not a lot of reason to be terribly optimistic.

I think everyone should present their concerns as they feel them.

No one I know of is planning to bring buckets of shit–though the current closed bathroom policy results in just that happening all over the City, of course—in spite of Brent and Micah’s well-intentioned incremental efforts.

I suggest people speak about the issue forthrightly and clearly and be prepared for the usual Council-follows-staff lockstep.

If that doesn’t happen—if the opening up the bathrooms is kept in the budget, well then, flowers to the Council!

If the Council caves, then obviously further steps have to be taken to focus attention on the issue.

Folks should be aware, of course, that this whole issue is a smaller part of the much larger proposed shutdown of emergency services at the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center—which is now a locked, gated, patrolled area that requires ID to use.

This all seems part of the broader attempt to “unwelcome” homeless people to Santa Cruz and it is this broader issue that we all need to unite to fight. Or fight it separately in our own ways.

Meanwhile kudos to Brent and others focusing attention on the essential sanitation issue. And to the Council, if–for once–they do the decent thing.

One thought on “Councilmember Posner Calls for 24-Hour Bathroom Support at Council today

  1. How about a reward of a warrant 4 fraudulent use of tax moneys with a freeze on bank accounts until such accounts can be adjudicated/ peace out

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