We will continue our organizing efforts against the Business Improvement Districts and anyone who encourages police harassment and incarceration of poor and homeless people. We are not broken windows and we will continue to fight this violent system trying to break us until we are all free.
On August 6th, 2015 the DOJ released a statement of interest expressing opposition to the criminalization of homelessness in a Boise, ID anti-camping case. More recently, HUD released its guidelines for “Continuum of Care” consortiums vying for a share of the $1.9 billion in homelessness assistance funding. They will now require applicants explain how their communities are combatting the criminalization of homelessness and giving preference to applicants who provide evidence of their policies. The actions of these two federal agencies are especially welcome at a time when more and more laws criminalizing homeless people’s right to exist in public spaces are being passed every day throughout the country.
“Dogtown Redemption,” a new documentary film, humanizes and celebrates those who live in the America that many of us do not see. The film is not only the intimate story of recyclers in West Oakland, but a journey through a landscape of love and loss, devotion and addiction, prejudice and poverty.
The City of Berkeley has blown off decades of opportunities to listen to its citizens and has opted for big developer, corporate, and university perspectives every time. Berkeley citizens have no reason to trust city planning processes that are designed to grease the path for their own exploitation.
Berkeley needs truly affordable housing, City Councilmember Kriss Worthington said. It is a strong indictment by Worthington directed at members of the Berkeley City Council who act in the interests of developers and wealthy landlords against the needs of people with low or modest incomes.
Many viewers of the morning news don’t think twice when they hear about the thousands without homes because these individuals are no longer portrayed as people with feelings and ideas. Instead, they are numbers. We see people turned into statistics because they are easier to compute that way.
HUD just added a high cost to the growing federal pressures against cities that criminalize homelessness. Cities that enforce anti-homeless laws risk losing $1.9 billion nationwide from federal homelessness funding. For the first time HUD is asking applicants to “describe how they are reducing criminalization of homelessness.”
At Urban Shield’s vendor expo, a hundred companies sell military grade weapons and surveillance equipment to local police departments. As much as organizers claim Urban Shield is about saving lives, the focus on guns and death is overwhelming. City agencies should not participate in an exercise that militarizes the police.
When countless people are living on the street, when there’s no state in the union where workers making minimum wage can afford market-rate housing, and when hundreds of thousands of school children are living in cars and trying to do homework in the dark, we have an emergency.
It’s hard to quantify the values of hope and beauty. How do you measure what happens to someone creating art for the first time? YSA’s mission is to use art and jobs training to transform the lives of low-income and homeless youth to ensure that they meet their full potential.
There was just a sense that Archbishop Hunthausen was a holy person. He really stood for what he believed and he took a lot of flak for it. He stood for people who were disenfranchised, and he stood for people who were poor. He stood for an end to the arms race.