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Fwd: Chance to redeerm yourselves

From: domainremoved <chuck>
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2014 12:37:21 -0700

To the Members of The Palo Alto City Council--

On August 5th you hammered yet another nail in the coffins of all of us who
are not sheltered in conventional housing in Palo Alto.

There is along history of neglect--benign or benighted--toward those too
poor to pay rent in Palo Alto.

For years (and even still) people camped along San Franciisquito Creek--
till an earlier edition of the Palo Alto City Council made the creek side a
park and parks were illegal to sleep in.

The sad history goes on and continues right up through Sit'Lie etc. up to
your vote for the draconian and ill-conceived Vehicle Habitation Ban.

Your education is a long and draining process. I will only detail a few of
the reasons why it was so ill-conceived here but hopefully you will someday
come to understand the counter-productivity of your vote in all it's ugly

(1) Most basically your vote was counter productive because it in doesn't
accomplish what it's proponents want(ed). It's proponents wanted a less
visible unsheltered presence. Are we any less visible past Aug 5? I don't
think so.

(2) Your vote showed a complete misunderstanding of the issue.
 Homelessness is not a problem caused by people having vehicles in which
they can sleep. Homelessness is caused by people not having enough money
to live in houses and apartments like you do. When a problem is basically
a lack of resources-- subtracting resources is going in the wrong
direction; shows a lack of analytic ability; and evidences a fear-filled
reaction to intolerable fear that has rendered logic and common sense

(3) Many of the most decent citizens of the City were appalled at the
rejection of multi-cultural and ancient values of hospitality; charity; and
neighborliness. If 300 Palo Altans were suddenly unhomed by an
earthquake-- we would all be tripping over ourselves to shelter and feed
them. Because Palo Alto's homeless became dispossessed slowly and less
visibly-- we find grounds to judge and reject them-- in direct opposition
to Christ's dictum to "do unto others as you would unto Me" and the way we
were all brought up at home; in school; and in our religious educations.

So let's stop the list of why your vote was a mistake--it should be noted
that two of you--Marc Berman and Karen Holman-- showed true humanity;
charity; and compassion and voted AGAINST the dreaded and draconian
ordinance-- and tell you what you can do about it.

And rest assured none of us is fooled by fulminations against "our clergy
not doing enough." We all read that pretty well as a naked attempt to
deflect responsibility by placing blame on others politically weaker.
Real leaders don't spend a lot of time pointing fingers. They are using
their hands to take actual action to resolve the issue instead of looking
for others to blame. The homeless; our advocates; and the clergy are far
less politically powerful and vocal. We have far fewer resources at our
disposal than you all.

You--the present City Council-- may not have made all the cruel and
counterproductive decisions of the past--the closing of bathrooms in parks;
the building of parks WITHOUT bathrooms (obviously NOT the result of
parents or grandparents who have taken children to a park); etc. etc. It's
true that those mistakes were the result of other iterations of the City
Council--but the rudder of the ship of the City is in your hands now. YOU
are responsible for the arc of the trajectory of Palo Alto now.

YOU voted to pass the dreaded and draonian Vehicle Habitation Ordinance-- a
really sloppily thought out piece of legislation if there ever was one.

What are YOU going to do about it?

As I see it you're choices are three:

1) Keep hoping it will go away on its own and that everyone will forget it.

2) Wait for the Desertrain decision and if it's supportive of your
legislation-- cry "Victory" and forge on ahead with your VHO. If the
decision doesn't support the City of LA-- you can then admit defeat but
claim consistency in your wrongheadedness.

3) Follow the lead of Joe Simitian and Dave Cortese and the Santa Clara
County Board of Supervisors last week when they voted 5-0 to replace the
armory shelter before November. The attraction for you in this choice is
that you look much more like human beings with a heart and a conscience if
you leap to correct your own mistake before you're caught and pilloried and
made to. You've already been pilloried by the many citizens who have come
to the City Council meetings and reminded you how disappointed they are
with your vote.

You can go some of the way to redemption-- at least in the eyes of fair
minded citizens--if you admit and rectify.

(Read the article from the Mercury whose link is below. See how good Joe
and Dave and the whole Board of Supervisors sound in it. Then think of the
hurt and disappointment and sense of betrayal in the speeches of citizens
who've told you how much they disapprove of your vote of August 5.)

Sure--you can stonewall and deny-- which didn't work for Nixon; Clinton;
Weiner and scores of others and is presently not working for

Or you can do what you were taught to do when you were a child-- to be
charitable to those in need.

You're the City Council. How do you vote?

Chuck Jagoda

Received on Mon Apr 21 2014 - 12:35:53 PDT

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