From the Times Standard:
“No vote nor other action on Atkins’ proposal was taken by the Times-Standard’s deadline”
Well, the final result was 3-2 with the resolution, one apparently written by Linda herself, being added to the agenda for the next meeting. It was a compromise, and if it is as difficult for Councilmember Atkins to get this resolution on an agenda, then there is something dreadfully wrong with how our City runs.
As one might expect, the 3 voting for this were Linda, Natalie and Kim, with both Melinda and Marian voting against the motion.
This was an amazing resolution and if passed intact might begin to redeem the council on the work it had done to further the anti-houseless hysteria that has it’s roots in the ArkleyFest from September 18th, 2013.
Luckily, back then, I had made note of the presence of Supervisors Bass and Bohn, who then went on to head the County’s task force on houselessness.
Not surprisingly given what was on the agenda, Supervisors Bass and Bohn were back last night.
It seems to me, given our outrageous extraction policies during the dead of winter, we have been following the will of those who would like us to blame the victims.
At one particularly outrageous moment of the meeting last night, Councilmember Brady admonished an unknown houseless person who had left their worldly goods at the entrance to the Adorni Center by saying (paraphrasing) “Where is your respect for us”.
This prompted one audience member who had been a wonderful public speaker to demonstrably, and righteously, walk out of the proceedings.
We are dealing with a particularly challenging confluence of events: the progressive mainstreaming of marijuana, the overflowing of our penal system, a moribund economy incapable of producing living wages, and an artificially over-inflated real-estate and rental market, all of which have important influences on who can afford to live where. We do have influence as a people to change and adjust all of these. Instead, when faced with the obvious results of these problems, as if on cue, we decide that the solution is to say to the victims: “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. In order to help you we will take away your make-shift resting areas. If you can’t make it, given all of our generosity, the $500 monthly rent, the $9/hr retail jobs that are really meant for our children, then here is $200 to leave the area.”
The untold story in this process, which all the Councilmembers last night seem to want to tout as a success, is the influence of the closed and secretive taskforce on houselessness that is carrying with it the id of Arkleyfest and our increasingly overbearing neighborhood watch/Nextdoor culture.
As everyone agrees, we have serious problems with houselessness in Eureka. This ECC, with direction from the County task force (imho) have been on the wrong track. Resolutions like Linda’s will help turn the tide to begin to return humanity to what has become a police state with entrance to comfort based on one’s ability to afford living in an impossibly expensive world.
This needs to be an out-side-the-box tourniquet (using Linda’s apt analogy – not bandaid) with means to solve real problems. We need to find ways around CEQA and regulations in this dire housing crisis that, up to now, the ECC has only aggravated.
Councilmember Atkins, you are on the right track. Councilmembers Arroyo and Bergel, please work with her to maintain a resolution as close to possible to what we heard last night. You can do this without outrageous amounts of City money or time.
What we need to do is to find a house for those we have bulldozed. It’s our responsibility and it’s something I wish we had thought of before we began the bulldozing just as winter was arriving.