HUFF is taking a break today–NO MEETING Today March 23rd—Next meeting is Thursday March 30 at the usual place. Check below for some suggestions for between-meeting activity

A nasty combination of illness, weather-related power-out’s and computer problems is prompting a HUFF “recess” for this week.  Back again next Thursday, March 30th at 10:45 AM.  
In the meantime, HUFFsters are encouraged to keep their eye on the Food Not Bombs [FNB] situation at the Town Clock.   Though it’s not clear whether St. Francis Soup Kitchen has opened for sit-down hot meals, Food Not Bombs leaders voted Monday to shut down weekday meals and to serve only on weekends.  Recent threatening letters from the City to FNB activists  and direct police action March 10th at Parking Garage #10 and City Hall indicates police are now threatening force to stop the meals and may do the same at the Town Clock.   Health  permitting, I’ll be at the Town Clock noon on Saturday March 25th to watch and support FNB.
A rumored  agenda item on next Tuesday’s City Council meeting on 3-28 will focus police enforcement on banning panhandlers from medians.   This hasn’t been confirmed.
This is happening at the same tine as Keith McHenry of Food Not Bombs has posted the following on his facebook page after an emergency meeting yesterday: SANTA CRUEL CALIFORNIA – City launches new war on our homeless.  Hundreds of people are struggling to survive along Hy 9 in Santa Cruz during these winds and rain. They have no access to shelter as the Alert says.   People could be crushed by falling trees. One unhoused person who participated in our Food Not Bombs meeting last night reported that the city has not provided portable toilets at the huge camp along HY 9 and that their pit toilets are flooding into the camp. One woman had to have her foot amputated this week due to it becoming infected due to the lack of sanitation.   The  police are forcing people out of the empty city parking garages while leaving the Civic Auditorium and Warriors Stadium empty.Just imagine spending days in these atmospheric rivers with all your clothing soaked and no place to get dry.   People could be killed as a direct result of the cruel policies of city officials.   The city may attempt to close the Food Not Bombs weekend meals as part of their new campaign against the homeless.City of Santa Cruz – 831-420-5010   Mayor Fred Keeley  –  City Manager Matt Huffaker – Police Chief  Bernie Escalante –

HUFF adviser Laura Chatham passes on some  state legislative reminders:  

  • Support AB 920 (Bryan). This bill, which prohibits discrimination based on housing status, 
  • Oppose SB 31 (Jones)! SB 31, a bill which makes it a crime to sit, lie, or camp within 1000 feet of daycare centers, libraries, parks, and schools  is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee on 3/28 at 9am. SB 31 would take failed policies statewide and further criminalize the very existence  of our unhoused neighbors in public space. People can voice their opposition by submitting an opposition letter to the Committee by 3/21, reaching out to  members of the Senate Public Safety Committee to share your concerns, or attending the hearing in person on 3/28 to say “vote no!
  • Oppose SB 43 (Eggman), which would vastly expand the definition of “gravely disabled” in the Lanterman Petris Short (LPS) Act, making it easier to enforce  involuntary and forced mental health treatment. Please see Melanie’s forwarded message below and attached template opposition letter,  courtesy of Disability Rights California. SB 43 is set for a hearing on Wednesday, March 29th.

She also suggests taking a look at Paul Boden of WRAP (Western Regional Alliance Project)’s report:

If anyone is interested in working on HUFF projects around local treatment of the “mentally ill”, recent arrests and tickets for unhoused. 

folks in public places,, organizing for legal or direct action protest against the exclusion of those outside from protective buildings 

during storms or any other items on recent HUFF agendas, please contact me at 831-423-4833.