|Title:||Nasty Anti-Homeless Stay-Away Laws to Get Exponentially Worse|
|START DATE:||Tuesday October 14|
|TIME:||3:00 PM – 3:30 PM|
|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.
|Contact Name||Robert Norse|
|Email Address||RNORSE3 [at] HOTMAiL.COM|
|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.”
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.
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.
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.
Read and leave comments at https://www.indybay.org/
newsitems/2014/10/12/18762778. php .