Peace be with you
I was on an Arcata “homeless task force” back in 2006. Though the purpose of the task force was “emergency shelters, and homeless services,” the public comments were often filled with someone claiming to be a “downtown business owner” demanding that the Endeavor be closed down, and an anti-panhandling ordinance be a recommendation of the task force. One of those DBOs was Alex Stillman the current Mayor of the city of Arcata.
Alex Stillman formed the Downtown Mainstreet Business Owners Association, then presided its board, with the specific purpose to gentrify the Arcata Plaza. Alex Stillman owns a bunch of the buildings on the Plaza. She has fixed up many of them with Community Development Funds, though she is very wealthy. Even her DTMSBOA extorted “dues” from every business, whether they wanted it or not. Stillman, a silver spoon fed baby, now head of the dynasty, seems to get the lion share of all the money coming into our town. She’s also on the Headwaters Fund Board.
Stillman financed the “special election” of City Council candidate, and game and fish cop, Mark Wheetley. Due to Elizabeth Connor’s sudden flash of conscience, and retirement, we had a rare summer election when the university students were home on summer break.
In the 2006 council race Stillman ran along with her little piggy. I’m sure she out spent everyone, and got herself elected. And now we have perhaps the wealthiest person in our town making her demand to the task force a reality. Despite the fact she always looks for a government handout for her funding first, just her being rich beyond belief should be enough for you to realize she has no idea what the poor begging houseless person is going through. I want to reiterate that she personally has made more money begging your tax dollars than all the houseless people in Arcata ever have. And “aggressively” is relative to how many cops and fire chiefs you have in your back pocket.
The ordinance itself is pure bullshit! It is being touted as an “anti-aggressive pan handling” ordinance, most of it however has little, or nothing to do with “aggressiveness.” I am omitting the whole section where I point out the lack on any “aggressiveness requirement” in so many of the clauses of the ordinance. You can check it out for yourself here. Asking for a quarter at a bus stop is not in of itself aggressive, but it will be illegal if this piece of shit passes. It will take a survey crew, a team of lawyers, and Jesus himself to figure out where one could beg for alms in Arcata thanks to queen Stillman.
Of course the real reason for this bullshit ordinance is exactly what Stillman claimed way back at that task force meeting – to increase her profits. To make herself even richer she wants poor people starved, harassed, and deprived sleep, so they will have to leave town.
What happened to Arcata? We were once a much more progressive and tollerant town. Now we have Stillman as mayor, the chief of police as city manager, Blogs profiling the unhoused, and the Endeavor recieving business association awards for admitting that it is their fault Arcata isn’t more gentrified. Once we stood-up, and that wasn’t that many years ago.
Of course the other two quisling* council people are in lock step with this ordinance. Micheal “the worlds smartest idiot” Winkler is the biggest anti-houseless person I ever met, so of course he’s on board. Susan “wife of Bob Ornelas” Ornelas is the wife of the “first green mayor” in the country. Bob came to Arcata homeless, left and came back again homeless, and he passed all Arcata’s anti-houseless downtown ordinances. Now he is a self declared republican. We can’t expect the right thing from Susan. Of course the Mark “the little piggy” Wheetley is going to vote for anything Alex tells him to.
I hope we can get a no vote from Shane at least, but I never count on politicians. Shane used to be one of us, but he traded standing up for his values for a game of compromise. You never know who will get sold down the river for the political compromise. Oops, yes you do, the poorest – always!
One last note. It is hard on the street to get what you need. “Care-not-cash,” and “I am working for food” tee shirts, do not get either care nor food for the vast majority of the houseless (though the latter smacks of exploitation). Imagine needing tampons and being broke on the streets, or not have eaten in a day and there’s no place to get food. The Endeavor feeding two meals a week is not care. Give your alms directly to the poor. Don’t let some rich homeless-hating bigot suggest that they can do better with your alms, because that means your alms are used for whatever evil they might perpetrate. Unless you one of those who give “your alms before men, to be seen of them . . . [to] sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men,” give to the need.
*I’m getting to the post explaining how we are doing the bidding of a nazi type of society. Quisling is defined as “a traitor who aids an occupying enemy force; collaborator.” It just so happens that Vidkun Quisling ruled the Norwegian Government under Nazi occupation.