|Title:||Sleeping Ban at City Council; Freedom Sleepers in 35th SleepOut|
|START DATE:||Tuesday March 08|
|TIME:||3:00 PM – 3:00 AM|
|Food outside City Council in the late afternoon; Council activity through the afternoon and evening starting at 3 PM; Freedom Sleepers on the scene throughout the afternoon and evening fairly later. The event continues until mid-morning Wednesday. City Hall 809 Center St.|
|Contact Name||Toby Nixon (posted by Norse)|
|Email Address||tobynixon [at] gms.com|
|The long-awaited City Council meeting where Councilmembers Posner and Lane will finally attempt to discuss removing the Sleeping Ban from the Camping Ordinance. Under the proposed wording, “setting up bedding” at night–such as a sleeping bag–will still be a crime under the proposed law, though–strangely–blankets will be legal.
CITY COUNCIL CENSURE MOVE AGAINST POSNER?
While he is regarded as the most liberal member of the City Council, his attempts to curry favor with the staff and the rest of the Council have resulted in many bad votes going along with the rabidly anti-homeless Council majority.
He has been on the losing good side of a number of votes such as restricting public assembly in the streets (no), extending the stay-away power to police-as-judges (a no vote), RV permits denied to the homeless (no), warming center access, sort of, maybe, someday (yes), …to name a few.
His willingness to strongly and publicly organize outside City Council for homeless civil rights has been almost entirely lacking–though he has maintained communication with activists including the Freedom Sleepers.
His usefulness in securing public records has been low–he fears offending city staff.
To check out the City Manager’s staff report on possible actions against him (which do not include expulsion from the Council), see http://scsire.cityofsantacruz.
FURTHER COUNCIL FALDERALL
I’ve termed the Mayor “two minute” Mathews in the past for her unnecessarily cutting short public comment. She has refused my regular request for a Free Radio interview, nor would she comment on the proposed Lane Sleeping Ban repeal.
FOOD AND FROLIC OUTSIDE
Food Not Bombs playful activist Keith McHenry has announced he’ll be cooking and serving food–which never fails to excite the animus of police and politicians there.
Troubleshooter Toby Nixon is due to spearhead the 35th Freedom SleepOut–usually arriving in the mid-afternoon and staying until mid-morning Wednesday when he sometimes attends the 11 AM HUFF meeting at the Sub Rosa Cafe.
Toby’s bag and blankets are firmly planted on the sidewalk in violation of the City’s 11 PM to 8:30 AM Sleeping ban. He comes armed with video and audio to livestream police and First Alarm thug capers. Last week others joined him–without direct police harassment–though homeless folks across the street were reportedly hassled.
No rain is predicted for Tuesday or Wednesday. But bundle up if you come, and bring extra bundling material if you have it.
SLEEPING BAN REPEAL DEBATE 7 PM
More likely, there’ll be a pro forma discussion with limited public comment time. The proposal essentially is to remove the word “sleeping” as a definition of camping from MC 6.36.
On the upside, this would, if passed as written, legalize sleeping in vehicles (if you can find a place to park). On the downside, setting up bedding (what HUFF calls the Blanket Ban) would largely be retained, minus the words “sleeping” and “blankets”, allowing the police continuing “tools” to harass those outside.
The text, staff report, and correspondence around the proposal can be found at http://scsire.cityofsantacruz.
There is an extensive analysis and commentary of the proposal on a Free Radio show archived at http://www.huffsantacruz.org/
Mayor Lane’s proposal was cooked up in meetings closed to long-time activists and suffers from the lack of input.
Steve Pleich (one of the activists along with Phil Posner who chose to join the exclusionary meetings) has urged the Community to contact City Hall at 420-5020 or citycouncil [at] cityofsantacruz.com and urge them to vote for Lane’s proposal.
HUFF and other activists have encouraged folks to support the proposal, with a blanket in hand at City Council at 7 PM–perhaps to be laid out in Council chambers since will be no legal place for the overwhelming majority of homeless to sleep that night