Despite conspiracy theories about Berkeley trying to get rid of the homeless, Mayor Tom Bates’s Public Commons for Everyone Initiative has made it through the red tape to the green light.

Cliches aside, the Clog seems to find the well-intentioned initiative at least partially redundant. Last time we checked, sex on the sidewalks isn’t totally legal anyway, so why raise parking meter prices 25 cents per hour to enforce its apparent uber-illegality?

Ah, because the initiative also increases homeless services–you know, some phone tree to make finding space in homeless shelters efficient and more public toilets to replace the current failed public health experiment on the sidewalks.

But despite pumping parking meter revenue (from all 12 working meters!) into the problem, others, including Councilmember Dona Spring, found the initiative “immoral and also illegal” on grounds that criminalizing homelessness worsens the problem of limited space in homeless shelters. Apparently she missed the part about increasing services for the homeless.

We suppose the Public Commons for Everyone Initiative won’t solve homelessness or really make any marked difference in our lives other than raising the price of parking meters–so, no, we have no spare change–but at least Berkeley’s plan doesn’t include a shuttle bus to Brentwood.

Image Source: Shayan Sanyal under Creative Commons
Council OKs Public Commons Initiative [Daily Cal]
Curb Your Aggression [Daily Cal]
Episode 1107: Night of the Living Homeless [South Park Zone]



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