CUT AND PASTE VERSION OF THE LATEST FLYER:
SAVE VIBRANT STREET LIFE DOWNTOWN !
PROTEST, CHOW-DOWN, AND SPEAKOUT !
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 22nd 1:30 PM
on Pacific Avenue in front of Forever Twenty-One
SING BACK AT CITY COUNCIL
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 24th 3 PM
Council Chambers 809 Center St.
In a disguised attack on the entire non-commercial street scene, City Council will vote to restrict still further the very limited public space currently allowed the community downtown. Under the guise of health concerns, reducing congestion, and preventing a “trip-and-fall” hazard (none of which is documented), the reactionary new laws crowd street performers, vendors, homeless people,tablers, local residents, & tourists together. This willclassify95% of the sidewalk as sterile “forbidden zones” with no resting, vending, or performing. This attack on street counter-culture has nothing to do with “bad behavior.” It’s about “bigot aesthetics”-& homeless cleansing clearing away visible poverty, traditional Santa Cruz diversity, and political activism. Council staff tookno input from those targeted. They provided no info on the costs of current selective enforcement, nor stats of real problems.This merchant monopolization of sidewalk space is part of a broader “drive the homeless away” agenda.
THE NEW LAWS AS AMENDED
+++ Extends the Smoking Ban to the side streets one block in either direction from Pacific Avenue, including all alleys & side streets & to to all surface parking lots between Laurel Street & Water St. perhaps private parking lots as well. Ignores that current law already bans smoking 25′ from a door or window in the side streets.
+++Bans tarps & blankets now used to display jewelry, artwork, political fliers, etc. and requires all devices on the sidewalk to be “free-standing”. This okays guitar cases and cups, but arguably makes backpacks and anything placed perpendicular to the sidewalk “display devices” requiring a 12′ distance from the next “device”.
+++ Reducestotal allowed space to 4′ X 4′ area which now includestable, musical instruments, chair,people & personal possessions—making playing without a special permit difficult if not impossible.
+++ Requires 12′ distance between display devices, isolating performers and forcing away other vendors.
+++ Reducestotal available space 4/5 to exclude 95% of the sidewalk by expanding the “forbidden zones” to 14′ from buildings, street corners, intersections, kiosks, drinking fountains, public telephones, public benches, public trash containers, information/directory signs, sculptures or artwork, ATM-style machines, outside street cafes, vending carts, and fences. This bans sitting on any sidewalk that is narrower than 14′ (no sidewalk use in other business districts at all if buildings adjoin).
+++ In conjunction with Santa Cruz’s unique “Move Along Every Hour” law, police can then ban individuals from any one spot for 24 hours & require them to move 100′–further reducing “legal” spots.
When added to the frequent merchant expansion of their displays onto the sidewalk in front of their shops this exclusion of non-commercial activity will be nearly all-embracing. This, of course, suits those whose real objective is to drive away the once-vibrant street scene in Santa Cruz and ‘Capitola-ize” the Avenue.
The resulting congestion will have people competing for the public spaces (when there is actually room for all).It will severely crowd not just those using display devices, but others trying to sit down in the few remaining spots available whether these be elderly residents, homeless locals, visiting travelers, UCSC students, or naive tourists (who will, of course be selectively ignored or courteously directed to pay-cafes). And either drive such people away or produce a hostile response and more conflict downtown. Police will be given greater power to drive away a significant number of people currently using the sidewalk.
DOWNTOWN FOR ALL ! NOT JUST THE RICH, CONSERVATIVE, & FEARFUL
+++ Use your video phone to capture evidence of authorities harassing the public on the streets downtown. Post on You-Tube and www.indybay.org/santacruz . Send them to HUFF (email@example.com ); pass on links.
+++ E-mail City Council at citycouncil [at] cityofsantacruz.com .and demand these ordinances be reviewed for cost, effectiveness, impact, and unintended consequences. Send them back to citizen committees for public input.
+++ Spread opposition; Write local papers; Use Facebook & Twitter;. Ordinances become final a month after a 2nd vote in two weeks (October 24)Support businesses who oppose, publicize those who don’t.
+++ Post your own accounts of discrimination downtown. The Coffee Roasting Company, Verve, & Starbucksrefused service tohomelesspeople with backpacks;CruzioWorksrefused 24-hour service tohomeless Dan Madison.
+++ Come to City Council 3 PM September 24th to oppose the 2nd Vote on these laws!
+++ Witness & support other street performers & streetfolk when they face harassment from authorities.
+++ Get familiar with the Downtown Ordinances, often misquoted by police and hosts. Copies available through HUFF (Wednesdays 11 AM, Sub Rosa Cafe 703 Pacific) & soon at the Sub Rosa Cafe (703 Pacific).
+++ Prepare to sustain a long struggle by documenting police and merchant behavior regularly, organizing solidarity between vendors, activists, and others seeking to use the public space. Report harassment accurately.
Attachment(s) from Robert Norse
1 of 1 File(s)