Another long day yesterday, but probably one of the most significant things that the group decided is that they can move by the second Sunday in December if . . .
The bold are the official actions of the group – the rest are my words.
1. The County issues a fire permit immediately.
This is the most simple of the actions the county could do. We haven’t gotten official word from the county about if we can have a fire, they usually just don’t reply to us or talk with us, then later come out with some mandate and official proclamation. Yesterday, the fire department came and put out the fire. They said they could do so because it was a “nuisance”. They realized that a “nuisance” had to be more than just a neighbor complaint that it wasn’t a nuisance and we could have a fire. Later, they called us back and said, that we needed the property owner’s permission and the county had called and they won’t give us a permit and so they want the city to issue a $177 ticket because we have a fire. If you think this is wrong, please sign this petition.
2. The County allows a porta-potty at camp.
The number one complaint from the neighbors, parks department, county officials and even the Occupiers is that they have to walk to the PDQ or the church to go to the restroom and people don’t want them peeing outside. So, isn’t the natural solution to allow them, at their own expense, to get a donated porta-potty? We also requested permission for this multiple times, but have been denied.
3. The County provide local Madison Metro bus passes for the people staying there.
The northside has some things available but many people need to get downtown to get to services that they need. It’s a long bike ride from the northside and the supporters can’t supply rides for everyone when they need them.
4. There is a 3rd party complaint system implemented for the homeless shelters.
This has been talked about for years. People want to know that they are safe when they file a complaint and won’t be retaliated against. They also want to know that the complaint is taken seriously and that there might be a resolution to it. Most people feel that the complaints they have are falling on deaf ears and the shelters, as a result are unsafe (phsically and for personal belongings) and they are treated very poorly by staff. This is a basic tool to make the shelters more accountable. After all, its being paid for by tax dollars, shouldn’t this be a requirement.
5. County Executive Joe Parisi stays one night in the shelter with some of the Occupiers.
Our messages clearly aren’t getting through . . . perhaps a first hand experience and a shower without a towel will make its point.
6. Corporation Council (County Attorney) Marcia MacKenzie stays one night in the shelter with some of the Occupiers.
Again, perhaps a first hand experience will prevent further ignorant comments. (Remember these are my words, not the group.)
7. Daniel Callahan is reinstated to the Homeless Issues Committee or another person who is currently homeless. I didn’t think about it last night, but it should also include an apology, but the groups didn’t vote on that. There are three formerly homeless people on the committee – the guy who replaced Dan has never showed up for the meeting. It just seems natural that someone who is homeless be on the committee.
If you’re wondering by December 9th, its the date that we think we can get something else worked out by, hopefully something legal this time – but its going to take some effort and time and raising some money. More to come on that.
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