Standing Up at City Council and in the Community To Attacks on Homeless Residents in Vehicles

Raising Some Issues at Oral Communications
by Robert Norse & Alicia Kuhl (rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com)
Wednesday May 29th, 2019 10:16 AM
Continued delay and inaction on providing homeless shelter and services (to say nothing of civil rights) for homeless folks was the silent part of yesterday’s Santa Cruz City Council agenda. Several of us raised issues at Oral Communications
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CALLING OUT CHIEF MILLS
Many months ago, Alicia Kuhl and other RV-dwellers held a press conference at the police station. She and others asked Chief Mills (who attended) to advise the public and his enforcement staff to stop harassing those whose vehicles are their homes who are legally parked. And to advise noisy and hostile NIMBY’s that making frivolous, malicious, or false complaints about folks in vehicles overstaying the 72 hour limit was itself a crime. He declined to do.

See “The Vandwellers Meet the Police Chief: Relearning Sad Facts” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/16/18820421.php ,

See also “Sentinel presents Sympathetic Story on Van Dweller Harassment, Ducks Police Accountability” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/19/18820463.php

SQUEEZING IN A CRITIQUE AT CITY COUNCIL
At the City Council last night, Alicia Kuhl, Santa Cruz Homeless Union activist, presented and distributed a speech calling out SCPD Police Chief Andy Mills comments on “John Green”‘s “Santa Cruz Looks Like Shit” page.

She believes Mills incites vigilante violence. Mills sites “Green” as a facebook friend. Mills, Alicia noted, provided a recent news flash to needle distribution opponents noting Denise Elerich’s Harm Reduction application was withdrawn. Alicia accuses Mills of not removing his post from the “SCLLS” website where some posters advocate vigilante violence against folks living in their RV’s.

She presented screen shots of the website, and also urged the community to oppose vigilante activity, quoting numerous facebook posters who seem to be urging or enabling it (see attached flyer of speech).

WATKINS REPRESSION DETERRING SPEAKERS?
Unlike last Council meeting, all speakers were able to speak for two minutes, though Watkins for the second time barred all group presentations. Also the abrupt cutoff of speakers and subsequent clearing of the chambers at the last meeting may have discouraged some from coming to speak. At least one man who stood in line behind me, said he’d given up and wouldn’t bother to speak since the Mayor would probably not allow it.

I commented during my speech (also attached) that the City Council “Progressives” don’t seem interested in extending Oral Communications to allow all there to speak–even for the limited 2 minutes (several years ago it was 3 minutes).

Last time Councilmembers Sandy Brown and Justin Cummings joined the repressive Watkins/Mathews minority to vote down a proposed extension of Oral Communications time–resulting in a tumultuous delay as people protested.

MORE VIGILANTE THREATS
Kuhl also posted on the facebook page of Santa Cruz County Homeless Advocates a video of a “Santa Cruz Looks Like Shit” poster under the name Jeremy Hoekstra harassing and threatening a man sitting on the sidewalk outside the Bike Church. (See https://www.facebook.com/groups/SantaCruzCountyHomelessAdvocates/ for May 27th).

SPEAKERS AT CITY COUNCIL
Numerous speakers at City Council called out the City Council majority (now enabled by Vice-Mayor Justin Cummings) for enabling a corrupt agenda process excluding key issues like rent control, survival encampments, and restored public process at City Council.

Frances Pain recalls stumbling and falling on the sidewalk with groceries tumbling everywhere–ignored by everyone except a homeless man across the street. Tyler suggested that as more and more fall into debt and homelessness, it will be the homeless themselves that will provide real help and guidance.

Curtis Reliford spoke passionately about racial discrimination in Santa Cruz and the tickets he’d been given for his musical vehicular fundraising.

ACTION OPTIONS
I don’t remember any Janus workers speaking but previously several of them talked about wretched working conditions there. So I added to my flyer their announcement of a picket happening 2-4 PM Thursday May 30th at 200 7th Ave.

I’m also posting usual advisory for vandwellers to unite for self-defense and report all threatening behavior by presumptuous NIMBY neighbors.

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/05/29/18823656.php?

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