ARCATA ANTI-HOMELESS ORDINANCE IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

“federal appeals court panel ruled on Friday that arresting homeless people for sleeping, sitting or lying on sidewalks and other public property when other shelter is not available was cruel and unusual punishment.”
New York Times April 15

Arcata Municipal Code
TITLE X – PUBLIC PROPERTYCHAPTER 1 – PARKS AND GROUNDS
SEC. 10004. Overnight use prohibited. (Amended by Ord. No. 1205)

Sleep is a human necessity, not a luxury or privilege. This ordinance prohibits sleeping outdoors in Arcata, thereby punishing the homeless with sleep deprivation. This violates the EIGHTH AMENDMENT to the U.S. Constitution which guarantees us freedom from “cruel and unusual punishment.”

Anti-camping ordinances have been successfully challenged in Portland, Oregon (State of Oregon v. Wickes); Santa Ana, California (the “Eichorn decision”); Miami, Florida (“Potinger v. City of Miami”);

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7 Responses to “ARCATA ANTI-HOMELESS ORDINANCE IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL”

  1. saf Says:

    I wonder if this means that any public area such as the Plaza or City Parks can be slept on? It seems like this would could compell the City to create free camping areas in order to discourage camps from popping up all over the place.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    And of course the problem is that some homeless will of course choose to stay on the plaza regardless of that because the plaza is near businesses and people whom they can beg for free money. The chronic homeless will simply see this as a license to behave badly.

    Tad if your spiritual being told you not to live in society then you’d be out in the wilds hunting and growing your own food, not scavenging in dumpsters that contain the garbage of those you condemn.

    Oh and where’s that fuzzy little friend of yours? Bio…that’s his name I believe.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Anonymous,

    Its obviously you have no idea about my spiritual being, its obviously you have no idea about whom I condemn, and its obviously you have no idea about homelessness, so did you just write your crap to be mean and create a bigger problem?

    I pray you can find peace, wisdom, and love inside you before it is too late.

    love eternal
    tad

  4. Priestess of Astaroth Says:

    Get out of Arcata you filthy homeless bums!!! We don’t want you here! You’re a drain on the economy and you serve no purpose. Get jobs! Take showers! Brush your teeth! Why the hell do you think it’s the working peoples job to support you? What gives you the right to sit on your sore ridden asses all day and demand my hard earned money?

  5. noel adamson Says:

    I doubt many homeless people are homeless by choice anonymous. Minimum wage times 8 hours equals $54 a day. Before taxes and other deductions. However you could work here and live in Mexico on that pay.

    I don’t know who Tad is but you can not live on BLM land and grow your own food and hunt except during short hunting seasons which are heavily restricted due to destruction of habitat and overhunting by “sports” hunting, that is hunting for the sheer pleasure of outwitting a goose or moose for the personal agrandizement of low IQ people rather than subsistance. Although, when I last checked, you could live on such public wilderness land it was as a concession to nomadic lifestyles which involved a time limit on how long a person could remain in one place. A couple of weeks only and that specifically designed to prevent putting down roots. Literally. No garden, no wheat field on BLM land.

    I think designated camping areas are a feasable alternative to unaffordable housing until real estate prices are brought down from the false, speculation driven, highs that have caused so much homelessness in conjunction with exporting jobs to slave nations such as BushCo’s buddies in the Totalitarian Communist Dictatorship of China. Our money is following our jobs there too as we must then import the goods from them that were once made here at a good profit.

    As for “free money” look to corporate criminals before condemning indigent dumpster divers. War profiteers who, in the process of ripping present and future tax payers off for trillions of dollars are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, destruction of whole cultures, including ours, and failure to protect us here at home even from a handful of characters with box cutters in huge sub sonic airplanes or the current influx of Afghani heroin courtsey of Al Qaida and the Taleban. Also to the aforementioned real estate speculators who artificially drive prices of housing up to support their lavish and effete life styles, coke habits etc.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    noel,

    You are correct to point out that few people are homeless by choice. You are also correct to point out that much free money goes to corporate criminals, and that many of our problems including homelessness stems from the way we deal with corporations in this society.

    However, I have a feeling that the attitude against homeless people has little to do with most of the people who are homeless but not by choice, and much to do with the very visible “homeless” who have asked much of the City of Aracta. Some of these visible homeless proudly state that they have no desire to work, or be part of such a corrupt system. So people get the impression that most homeless are homeless by choice… or at least the ones they are annoyed by are. Some of these visible homeless are obviously travelers (moving back and forth between places like Santa Monica, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle), so people get the impression that it was not the economy of Humboldt County that made them homeless. Rather, they became homeless somewhere else and decided to move to Arcata. These things color people’s perceptions of homeless people, perhaps unfairly, but these impressions are very strong. So when a homeless person or homeless advocate makes demands that the City provide housing, or at least free camping, or provide health care to the homeless population, a person who works for minimum wage, that you so elquently talked about, and who has the impression, albeit only partially true, that homeless people are out-of-towners who refuse to work, then that person might think think those demands are way out of line.

    I realize that this is a very skewed view of homeless persons, since no doubt many homeless people would be happy to be helped out, would be happy to have a job and be able to work to sustain their life. It’s just that most people are aware of ther immediate problems that they see. They forget that corporations are plundering the wealth of the world, because these are abstract concepts, and they turn their attention to things that are visible and apparent to their eyes.

    Personally, I would love to see corporate wealth redistributed, and I think that the robber-barons are very much to blame for the fact that homelessness is such a large phenomenon. Given that the Supreme Court has decided that cities cannot “take care” of their homeless problems by kicking them out, I think it might perhaps be constructive for small governments that have a large homeless population on their hands, such as Arcata, SF etc.., to demand support from the Federal Government, which has been so happy to force problems down the chain and which through their placating policies to the robber-barons have created this mess in the first place. Perhaps this is a dream, but I do think that it is a dream that both homeless and working people can get behind. Homelessness is a NATIONAL problem and so while the solutions should be local the money to provide these solutions should be paid by the entities that make up the national economy, that includes taxing the robber-barons.

    Z

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Since when do the liberal fascists running Arcata give a hoot about the Constitution? Measure T might as well be called Measure TP after they get done trashing the 1st and 14th Amendments.

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