Olympia: An Ordinance Too Far?

Mayor’s Ultimatum

On 1-8-13, Olympia’s City Council unanimously passed an ordinance banning ‘camping’ (i.e. sleeping) on its public property/spaces despite unanimous public comment against the law slated  to  take effect on 2-8-13. If this story sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Elected representatives continue to stonewall their constituents everywhere in America. It amounts to nothing less than a failure of government.

That this ordinance was directed at the homeless was transparent and it virtually criminalized an entire class of people in Olympia, by definition. The preening mayor enabled by his fellow council members vacuously boasted of how generous they had been toward homeless issues (while simultaneously grousing about the relatively inferior efforts of their nearby sister cities and the County of Thurston) and openly relished the thought of how his passage of the hateful ordinance was ‘beneficial’ in that he thought it would motivate other agencies and NGO’s to do more.

olytent

The Least of These

Click HERE for a legal analysis of the unconstitutionality of Olympia’s poverty laws.

Anonymous sources promise there will be campaigns of civil disobedience in protest of the new ordinance targeting the homeless.

“You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.” -Abbie Hoffman-

The Solution

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One Response to Olympia: An Ordinance Too Far?

  1. admin says:

    Homelessness is a problem in and of itself, for those who experience it and for those who value others. But the Olympia City Council has created another problem/crisis ancillary to it–virtually criminalizing an entire class of people. Why? The Mayor absurdly utilizes the fig leaf of public health & safety while permitting the locking of public restrooms, while forcing the most vulnerable into hidden remote areas far from protection or emergency services. Most importantly, he revealed his true agenda: Management By Crisis!

    The Mayor openly boasted by passing this ordinance he was creating ‘momentum’ and forcing other agencies as well as NGO’s to assume a greater portion of the burden for the homeless. He should be called out on this one instead of being allowed to weasel out of his using the homeless as pawns for inter-agency budget conflicts.

    The entire exercise of the Council’s legislative authority on 1-8-13 was cynical, calculating, and manipulative at the expense of those already stigmatized. Perhaps other creative ‘solutions’ can more effectively make the point. The Devil’s in the details.

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