- Martha – everyone did a great job at the City Council Meeting
- We went to the city council meeting thinking we would get nothing – we were told to expect nothing. It was the acceptance stage of grief.
- Someone – Martha maybe- reached out to folks who experience homelessness – and they came.
- Pastor John was there – 15 folks – we just signed in randomly. It was amazing. Without orchestrating who would speak. Everyone had a piece and covered the ground.
- The mayor really did stop the meeting.
- Maureen – we all learn every day – from the people who have impediments we don’t expect. I learned from someone who looked able, but had Multiple Sclerosis (MS) not to expect everyone can do what they look like they can do. Anyone with a need for accommodation should tell us.
- The Council was on their phones – Al asked them to get off their phones. Al – I observed their body language, and called them out on it.
- Al - I pointed out to the council that I had a PhD in Psychology (I hope I got that right, Al) , that most members of the Council were doodling at their cell phones. You have to have courage to say stuff, even if it will get you fired (says someone who’s retired. But I’m sure you never held back much in your employed days, either. –ed)
- Maureen – those of us who are retired have an obligation to speak out
- The City is certain about what they heard. One councilmember has sent an exhaustive list of questions to the city manager. Linda Stewart – the director of Human Services is quoted in todays’ news tribute that a taskforce would take too long and be too complicated. I suggest we need a task force, then if the City doesn’t do it, the Coalition does it. Metro Parks may be willing to do it. I also suggesting rotating encampments through the different parks, starting with Vassault.
- Sent info to Jason Escareno with the County Council. Also asked if Associated Ministries would convene something. We should wait and see what the City says – a “how to get through the winter” task force.
- One more opportunity for public comment- Tuesday, October 1st at 5pm. – ordinance number is on 28615. You get 3 minutes (but there were so darn many folks, it was down to 2 minutes at the actual meeting.-ed). Can e-mail the city clerk comments, too. Or e-mail council members directly ( at https://www.cityoftacoma.org/government/city_council or lookup their e-mail or phone number in the League of Women Voters handy Directory of Elected Officials - http://www.tacomapiercelwv.org/files/try_2018_w-correct_center_map_2-18-18.pdf -ed)
- We want to get the section on limited shelter removed – or get the implementation delayed. Several council member picked up “where will people go?” we need to say where they can go – I listed off where 350 beds could come from real fast. I didn’t even know about Bethlehem and their work.
- There feels like a sort of a guerilla network of shelter around the county, as well.
- Say what is important to you – whether it is reject that shelter section, or delay it until they have a safe place to be day and night . Any suggestion – a taskforce, a type of shelter, put it out there and say thank you. (clear, personal and civil – there is much to learn from the Maureen Way. –ed)
- There is a community of goodwill that wants to prevent as much harm to homeless people as possible. That isn’t in opposition to safe parks. If you see the video that accompanies the news tribune article (view it at https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/article235532727.html -ed) – they interview a man living 3 years near People’s Park – about J street and varying levels of security.
- Neither Metropolitan Development Council or Associated Ministries were in the audience. When the Mayor announced the task force, I reached out to Metropolitan Development Council and Mike Yoder about this contract in the works. There are lots of moving pieces – the people moving those pieces don’t realize there are lots of us with knowledge and experience and energy and ideas and passion – and that the time is done when the people in the power chairs get to make all the decisions themselves.
- Pacific Lutheran University has a debate on Tuesday, October 1st on Housing, and we still have a candidate forum on the 11th
- Greg – a couple observations – there are things said at the public forum by employees or council members that are inaccurate or misleading. Unfortunately, public comment happens before the presentation. Things like “70%” of people offered services are refusing services. That may be a true fact, but misrepresents this situation. Maureen did get up during her 3 minutes and said she had called all the resources and the list that the City is passing around is inaccurate. Our elected and the public employees are not our rulers, they are our servers who work on our behalf and for us. We can demand they must represent that information accurately. We have a responsibility to call them out, respectfully and tactfully, but we have that responsibility.
- The city attorney, without the opportunity to cross examine him, said the penalty is just a civil infraction. How many have criminal problems that started with a civil infraction?
- Maureen – the 2nd part of trying to ensure everyone has a safe place for shelter – the 2nd part that is extremely troubling in the ordinance, is the latter part, where a criminal trespass is given if you don’t leave the park when told to. You get excluded from any park for any reason – a whole section perhaps they thought no one would read.
- Mary Anderson – I just wanted to say that the exclusion and trespass clause already exists . Maureen – thank you so much. Metro parks has committed to having someone here every Friday.
- Al – I’d like to suggest we have the Mayor come and talk to us on some Friday morning
- Theresa – I saw the power of this organization – Rosemary with lack of housing stats, Maureen with her testimony. Gerrit saying that even with his connections he can’t find someone a place to sleep. I just want to say to all of you – it really made a difference. I appreciate Maureen for organization to the degree you are organizing. Everyone, even if you can’t make it, you boost all of our work. Thank you Maureen. Maureen – I can’t believe I’m now advocating for safe parking places.
- PJ – I know I said this many times, if you need me, I’m there with you guys, if you need information or wisdom, just find me at nativity house and ask for PJ – I’ve been doing this for a lot of years and I like to see everyone pitching in as a voice.
- Maureen - James Pogue introduced me to the news tribune as staff to the coalition. If I’m staff, how about doubling my salary? I have done this work for years – I’ve never seen what this Friday morning group does – it is incredible.