Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Good Outcome

The Grand Junction City Council's decision to reject the two "emergency" solicitation and panhandling ordinances was well received by what looked and sounded like quite a throng at City Hall last night.

I'll have much more to say about this later, but I would be remiss in not thanking Council for allowing common sense to kick in on this one. I would also congratulate those who advocate and work with the homeless and transient populations, for speaking out and helping to assure that this segment of our citizenry was well represented in ample quantities.

In retrospect, what is escaping me is how certain City staff and/or departments thought they could try to pull a fast one like this and expect to succeed. Did they actually have the chutzpah to think that no one would care enough to advocate in person, and those who engage in this activity would somehow not know or care enough to show up? Did collective disdain and dismissal cloud their perception of the issue, and their vision of the human beings in our midst that live with poverty and homelessness every day?

I managed to watch some of the meeting last night; aside from the impassioned, at times colorful comments made by those in opposition, the body language displayed by of some of those City officials during these comments was downright riveting. Maybe I'll have some examples later on.

Now to bed. There will be plenty of reporting and analysis over the next few days, but the window of opportunity has been opened to get some good legislation out there that will truly address the real safety issues at hand, while protecting everyone's fundamental rights and enhancing the quality of the collective services provided to those in need.

Have a great day.

1 comment:

Len said...

Working with homeless folks, I know they all face a complex and overwhelming constellation of problems and issues. Telling them to get a job or criminalizing their situation is hardly a solution, and doesn't get to the causative issues. If we're serious about getting them "off the streets," let's all buckle down and work up a set of community strategies that helps them get to a better and more stable place where they can be safe and self sufficient. It's not rocket science, but it does have to be done with intent.