Week Five: Take Action Against Ordinance to Criminalize Homelessness

May 5, 2012 in Press, Video

Last week the proposed Denver city ordinance to criminalize our homeless sisters and brothers had the 1st Reading, public hearings and first vote (final vote will follow on May 14th) before the full city council. It was advanced by a vote of 9 to 4 (Ayes: Brooks, Brown, Faatz, Herdon, Lehmann, Montero, Nevitt, Robb, Susman. No: Kniech, Lopez, Ortega, Shephard). There was a mass sleep-in at The Pavillions on the 16th Street Mall in response to this vote (see video, media and pictures below).

We need to take three critical actions this week. First, we will be having a “snooze-in” at Snooze on Sunday May 6th to protest their support of the ordinance (details below). Next Saturday we will have a picket starting at the Palm Restaurant and a mass sleep-in protest in front of the Downtown Denver Partnership. Second, we need as many people as possible to attend the St. Johns Cathedral forum and the Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation meeting. Third, we need to continue to visit, call and email city council members about the ordinance.

Downtown Denver People’s Partnership Protests

“Snooze-in” at Snooze to Protest “Urban Camping Ban.”

The Downtown Denver People’s Partnership including organizations like the Denver Catholic Worker, the Thunderdome and Occupy Denver will conduct a “snooze-in” outside of Snooze, an A.M. Eatery. The Thunderdome will serve pancakes at a people’s pancake picnic.

When: Sunday, May 6th from 9 a.m. to noon
Where: Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, 2262 Larimer Street, Denver, Colorado (map)

This action seeks to highlight the role of Snooze, a member of the Downtown Denver Business Partnership, in pushing an ordinance through the city council that will criminalize the survival act of sleeping by our homeless friends.

Read Full Press Release

Protest at the Palm Restaurant and Other Members of the Downtown Denver Partnership Supporting the Ordinance

When: Saturday, May 12th starting at 6 p.m. Meet at Lincoln Park at 5:30 pm if you want to march past City Hall to the Palm Restaurant.
Where: Palm Restaurant, 1672 Lawrence Street, Denver, CO 80202 (map)

Read Full Press Release

Mass Sleep-in Protest at the Downtown Denver Partnership

The Downtown Denver People’s Partnership including organizations like the Denver Catholic Worker and Occupy Denver will conduct a mass sleep-in outside of the Downtown Denver Partnership to protest their involvement in pushing this ordinance through city council.

When: Saturday, May 12th starting at 8 p.m.
Where: Downtown Denver Partnership, 511 16th Street, Denver, CO 80202 (Between Glenarm Place and Welton Street) (map)

Read Full Press Release

Sleep-in Protests at City and County Building

Bring your sleeping bags and/or blankets for a day-long rally on the City Council steps (City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St, Denver, Colorado 80202). From noon until 5:30 there will be a series of actions and speeches highlighting the injustice of this ordinance. The city and county building will be open to the public, let your voice be heard.

When: Monday, May 14th from Noon to 5:30 pm
Where: City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St, Denver, Colorado 80202

Rally to OPPOSE the “Urban Camping” Ban

When: Monday, May 14th at 4:30 pm
Where: City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St, Denver, Colorado 80202

Attend Meetings This Week

Tuesday, May 8, 7:00 pm – St. John’s Cathedral Forum
1350 Washington St, Denver, CO 80203
Dagwood Hall (Enter Cathedral complex from parking lot, make a right and walk to the end of the hallway. It is the large hall on the right)

From Cathedral Newsletter: “Please join Councilman Albus Brooks of Council District 8, Council At-Large Robin Kniech, and Jeanne Robb of Council District 10 at Saint John’s Cathedral for a forum on the proposed ordinance to prohibit unauthorized camping on public or private property; Bill Request BR12-241. Join us in discussion on how the community and the city can work together toward the shared goals of addressing the needs of the homeless community and creating a welcoming downtown.”

Saturday, May 12, 9:00 am – Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation Meeting
Broadway COP Shop
407 S. Broadway #500, Denver, CO 80209

From the INC website: “The meeting begins at 9:00 am. The Forum will begin at 10:15 a.m. and end at 11:30.  There will an opportunity to ask questions after the discussion.  Representatives from the City Council, Downtown Denver Partnership, Lower Downtown Residents, Ball Park Residents, Occupy Denver, the homeless community and Denver Police are expected to participate.”

Visit, Call and Email City Council Members and the Mayor’s Office

Key resources to share with city council members include: The Homes Not Handcuffs page at the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless; Occupy Denver’s Open Letter to Mayor Hancock; Homes Not Handcuffs: The Criminalization of Homelessness in U.S. Cities, a report from the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty; and, Searching out Solutions: Constructive Alternatives to the Criminalization of Homelessness, a new report from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Report: Mass Sleep-In on 16th Street Mall

The Denver Downtown People‘s Partnership including organizations like the Denver Catholic Worker, the Thunderdome and Occupy Denver conducted an all night sleep-in protest in front of The Pavillions on 16th Street Mall on Tuesday night May 2nd.

Media Coverage:

photo (cc-by-nc-sa) by Kendra Kellogg

photo (cc-by-nc-sa) by Kendra Kellogg

All photographs by Kendra Kellogg