This is land that should be tilled and fertilized and made productive, not paved over. It is land that should be used to fulfill the promise made by Miguel Altieri to engage people in urban gardening. It is land that should be planted with crops to feed hungry people, not greedy corporations.
More and more cities across the country are criminalizing homelessness by outlawing sitting and lying on sidewalks, panhandling, sleeping outdoors and other essential, life-sustaining acts. In order to protect homeless people from discrimination, lawmakers in Connecticut and Illinois are following Rhode Island’s lead in passing Homeless Bills of Rights.
“These families have done nothing wrong. They’re being punished for working, which is what people in our community are supposed to do. We will not allow workers to be treated as though they are invisible. Being terminated because of immigration status is a violation of their human and civil rights.” — Rev. Phil Lawson
At a time of rising poverty, the huge federal budget cuts known as sequestration will eliminate many units of low-income housing desperately needed by the nation’s poorest people. At the same time, the salaries of nonprofit housing executives continue to rise ever higher, reducing the scant funds available for housing.
Despite their efforts to keep the land green, homeless people once again face eviction from the Albany Bulb. Advocates argue that Albany officials cannot evict the homeless encampment without providing alternative shelter. Yet, for the past 15 years, Albany has had no homeless shelters at all for its unsheltered citizens.
Homeless advocate Linda Lemaster asked, “Is Santa Cruz County still under the Constitution that we think of as the lead legal document of our land, where people — even if they happen to be homeless — have certain civil rights, and even some human rights are acknowledged in our constitution?”
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said that “sequestration will place more than 230,000 men, women, and children at substantial risk of homelessness.” The huge budget cuts threaten several hundred thousand households with the loss of their federal housing assistance and housing vouchers — resulting in a massive increase in homelessness.
The “silver tsunami” represents an overwhelming new wave of aging seniors. Every day, about 10,000 Americans become seniors. The 65-and-older population will more than double from 40 million in 2012 to 80 million by 2050. Considering the nation’s economic troubles, countless seniors will need more affordable housing.
Unless the Obama administration and Congress agree on a new plan to avoid falling over the “fiscal cliff,” several disastrous, across-the-board spending cuts to non-military programs are scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 2, 2013, and may cause great harm to programs serving the elderly, disabled, low-income and homeless people.
Kriss Worthington denounced Measure S as immoral and a diversion from the issues of homelessness and poverty. Sales taxes have declined the most in places with a smaller concentration of homelessness. This gives the lie to the repeated efforts by some business owners to blame homeless people for declining profits.
The Ecumenical Peace Institute’s Autumn Gathering focuses on “The Community Challenge to Protect Public Land.” Speakers will address the ways people relate to the land, beginning with the viewpoint of Native American peoples, then looking at current struggles relating to land and justice, and analyzing the concept of “the commons.”
Forbes spins a misleading tale of what it takes to become wealthy in the U.S. by understating the overwhelming impact of birthright and privilege. Many of those on the Forbes 400 were “born on third base” but claim to have “hit a triple,” and the Forbes 400 list perpetuates this falsehood.