Skip to main content

Important Feb 10 City Council Mtg

Logo/emblem of the city of Sacramento.
A Sacramento City Council meeting on February 10 is going to be an important one for the city and for that important subset of folks, us homeless living in it. Here is the agenda for the meeting which covers many important topics, including Item 11, a proposed anti-scavenging ordinance; Item 16, a midyear city-budget review; and Item 18, a staff report on inclusionary housing

Firstly, there is a scavenging ordinance [Item 11 on the agenda], that has been forwarded by the Law and Legislature committee, that would make scavenging in dumpsters and general-waste bins unlawful due to a supposed threat of ID theft. Stealing others' ID is already illegal, as is scavenging in recycling bins. SacHo supports Muriel Strand's objections to this legislation because (1) the community at-large should support scavenging that promotes 'green' recycling of usable items and (2) the Les Misérables argument [Sacramento should support Jean Valjean over Inspector Javert!]: Productive scavenging aids the most desperate of homeless people. We must not criminalize homeless people's well-intended efforts to stay alive. Here is the city manager's argument in favor of passage of the ordinance.

Also, as Loaves and Fishes discusses at their webspace, there are (one or) two ordinances under consideration that would require more "mixed housing" in the city, thus creating more housing opportunities for poor and homeless people. Here is the Agenda Packet relating to the council's housing workshop/report on this matter.

And, finally, because of the nosediving, tailspinning, arrrrrrrgh economy, the city will be looking for ways to reduce expenses. Often, the poor [who are the least politically connected] ironically take the brunt of the hit in a situation like this. We believe the city council should seek, generally, the least painful ways of adjusting budgets. All Sacramentans should shoulder some of the discomfort of Hard Times. The city is closing the funding gap in its 2008-2009 budget mostly by a neat trick: correcting its risk-management computations, thus, reducing its risk fund and using those ghost-proceeds to alay deficits elsewhere. This is a one-time trick, putting off dealing with real pain until later. SacHo finds no proposed cuts in the staff report that unfairly impact the poor, but does find interesting data, of concern, that we will report on soon.


Popular posts from this blog

Homeless Sacramentans lose case that would have given them the right to set up outdoor camping

8/11/13 I certainly give attorneys Mark Merin and Cat Williams credit for pursuing a case against the city of Sacramento to give homeless Sacramentans the right to set up tents and a campsite. I wanted them to win their case, but they didn't. They lost it.

BUT, it is also necessary to look at the particulars of the case that Merin and Williams brought and see that the situation underlying the court case was not very compelling.

During the period eight years ago when 22 homeless campers set up their tents and brought in supplies to Mark Merin's vacant lot at C Street, near 12th, there was loud noise and plenty of other mayhem. Drug dealers were on the street encouraging buys from the campers. The Hernandez couple that lived in a house nearby were constantly being taunted by the campers, disrupting their lives.

Per always with Safe Ground camps, calm was deserted for the sake of boisterousness.

Leader John Kraintz and the other Safe Grounders would claim to have signed strict a…

The Mission Five Years Ago, And Today

I have spent the night the past two weeks plus at the Union Gospel Mission and am having an excellent time of it -- not only regards to sleeping in the dorm that the mission has, but also listening to the sermons that are delivered in the early evening. The Christmas music that is performed is also splendid. [And the food -- the FOOD -- has been fantastic during my stay so far! A happier Tom there couldn't be.] I chatted with a pal last night about The Mish – about how things were about five years ago when we both used the mission’s services frequently, and how thing are, today.
Five years ago, there were a lot scuffles between the guys when the front gate was opened in the early afternoon and in the area near the contact window there were some brawls as guys fought over where guys were in line to get a bed in the dorm.
Nowadays, however, the mission is very much a peaceful place both on the grounds of the facility and and out on the street.
I do not know what transformative eve…

Railway Road Shelter opens near Globe Light Rail Station

The 200-bed shelter at Railway Road and Del Paso Blvd opened last night -- Friday, the 8th -- with fifty homeless people spending the first night there. The shelter -- as yet unnamed -- was scheduled to open on December 8, but is not as yet ready to be populated by the maximum number of people and their pets that, when the shelter is completed and ready, are expected to be staying there. The shelter, for winter, will be open through March 31.

An article written by Cynthia Hubert in the Sunday, Dec. 10 edition of the Bee, is the source of this news.

One peculiarity that is perhaps trivial, but maybe not, is Hubert's unfortunate use of the word "trudge" in describing the, um, walking style of those who first made use of the shelter. "Trudge" is a derogatory word associated with Libby Hernandez, the three-wheel nun. It has been noticed by homeless people, themselves, that they "walk," as opposed to "trudge" when they move forward.

In addition t…