Tonight I addressed the Santa Clarita City Council about the proposed changes to title 14 of the…

Tonight I addressed the Santa Clarita City Council about the proposed changes to title 14 of the city municipal code governing use of parks and public spaces. With this measure it effectively criminalizes homelessness in the city while adding burden to code enforcement and liability to store personal property that is seized. Specific language (14.06.088 Sitting or Lying in Parks and Public Places Prohibited.
A. No person may sit or lie down upon a public sidewalk, street, maintained landscape area, curb, staircase, biking or walking path, or in doorways and entrances to buildings, or upon a blanket, sleeping bag, cardboard box, chair, stool, or any other object placed upon a public sidewalk, street, maintained landscaped area, curb, staircase, biking or walking path, or in doorways and entrances to buildings in any commercial zone. ) makes the case that not even a picnic could be had if the grass areas could be seen as “maintained landscape areas.” After being told that this was already in title 14 (it wasn’t), and this would not affect grass areas, they began to take great offense to the insinuation that they were not doing enough in other regards through partnerships to take care of the homeless population. If genuine concerted efforts were being made than this defense of action would not be necessary. The redress that I and other speakers received afterwards was appalling this evening. Mayor West should control the meeting and ensure that the council norms and procedures are upheld (Resolution #12-73). That document very clearly states how the council addresses the public and none of that was practiced tonight. Its upsetting to say the least but we have opportunity this November to replace three members. This type of talk towards citizens should not be tolerated as it erodes civil public discourse and creates a hostile environment where citizens will choose not to engage. The job requires thick skin, empathy and an understanding that is not currently present. Citizens will be angry and may give a biting tone, but the seat of city council is no place to serve it back.

(RSS generated with FetchRss)