A few weeks ago, the City of Berkeley announced that it approved some parts of the Public Commons for Everyone Initiative—sending most of it back to the city manager to figure out before a fall meeting decides the initiative’s fate.

But not everyone likes this idea.

On IndyBay.org, someone has come to the defense of the homeless, whom many think that the Public Common for Everyone Initiative targets directly.

This complainer writes:

bq. More anti-homeless proposals are being scheduled to come up for another city council vote sometime soon during the fall. The proposals being considered include strict enforcement of laws against noise disturbances such as yelling, parking a bicycle against a window or on a parking meter, smoking near buildings, unauthorized possession of a milk crate, obstructing or restricting use of the sidewalk, reducing warning provisions for sitting or lying down on sidewalks, littering, hitching animals to fixed objects, unauthorized possession of a shopping cart, increased fines for using the great outdoors as a lavatory, public drunkeness or drug abuse, and anything else that city officials can dream up as an excuse to run the homeless out of town.

Um, getting rid of some of those things, if not all of those things isn’t beneficial to the city? Yeah, why don’t we continue to litter and make Berkeley look like a third-rate dump. Yeah, why don’t we use the local neighborhood park as a bathroom. Seems very draconian to us for the city to not want these things (read: we’re being sarcastic).

And apparently even talks about the Public Commons for Everyone Initiative have already spooked some of the city’s homeless population into leaving. Osha Neumann, an attorney who defends the city’s homeless said:

bq. “The homeless know what is going on, they feel frightened and some are already talking about leaving town. The downtown police bike patrols get to know the homeless hot spots and get to know the homeless on a first name basis, making it very easy to target them for removal”

We’ll let you decide whether or not the homeless population leaving Berkeley is good for the city. But for now, we’ll be quietly waiting for that Summer Orientation issue to come out tomorrow.

Earlier: City Council Going to Clean Up the Streets
War on the homeless heats up in Berkeley [Indybay.org]



Comments:
Lynda Carson said:
Jun 27, 2007 at 6:55 pm

Class Warfare?

Do I detect a bit of biasness in the item above called, “Looks Like Not Everyone Likes Cleaner, Friendlier Streets”

Lynda Carson