PDA Radio - Archive

Check Out Politics Progressive Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with AndreaMiller0 on BlogTalkRadio

PDA Radio - Upcoming Shows

Wednesday, 05 October 2016 00:00

Washington county must pay $250,000 for violating homeless people’s civil rights

Written by
Homelessness policies are changing just north of Portland, OR, where hunger strikers camped out to protest similar rules in 2012. Homelessness policies are changing just north of Portland, OR, where hunger strikers camped out to protest similar rules in 2012. CREDIT: AP Photos

County workers routinely destroyed and confiscated what little property homeless campers had.

Clean-up sweeps of homeless encampments destroy property, disrupt the marginal stability that informal communities bring, and do nothing to house those living outdoors. And now, in the Portland area, they are also costing taxpayers money.

Clark County, Washington, will pay a quarter-million dollars to settle a lawsuit brought by a half-dozen homeless individuals there over a series of sweeps conducted from 2012 to 2014 just north of the Oregon border.

Workers there routinely confiscated and destroyed a range of belongings during the sweeps, including camp stoves, legal documents, and family photographs. County law enforcement policy said that the work crews could only confiscate property without notice if a camp was abandoned. If it was active, residents were to be given an hour’s notice to pack their things.

But in practice, lawyers for the plaintiffs said, homeless people would routinely return to their tents from meals at local charities to find workers had purloined their stuff.

The new settlement includes $165,000 in attorneys’ fees and $85,000 in direct restitution for six people who brought the case. The county is also committing to give a full 48 hours notice before sweeps, and to offer to store property for people who get relocated — cosmetic concessions that are common in larger cities where sweeps still routinely violate homeless people’s civil rights and make it harder for people to regain their footing.

Such sweeps have grown popular with local governments around the country in recent years. They’ve also attracted negative attention in a number of communities. A public works employee in San Francisco faced official discipline after refusing to help rip down an unpermitted “tiny house” occupied by a homeless man.

Homelessness policy experts explicitly tell local officials that these policies are destructive. The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness noted in 2015 that “the forced dispersal of people from encampment settings…accomplishes nothing toward the goal of linking people to permanent housing opportunities, and can make it more difficult to provide such lasting solutions to people who have been sleeping and living in the encampment.”

Last year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development lent teeth to that expert advice when it updated the formula for federal funding to homelessness programs to punish cities that use a range of move-along laws to criminalize the day-to-day realities of homelessness.

Combined with a growing body of research on the net-negative human and financial impacts of criminalization policies toward the homeless, and increased buy-in on the basic idea that giving people permanent supportive housing is the best way to reduce and end homelessness, the opposition to sweeps is helping to reshape the fight against homelessness. Seattle has formally recognized temporary camps, and Indianapolis has extended legal protections to them.

But the old criminalization mentality remains widespread. Sweeps are a particularly stubborn phenomenon, and they haven’t simply disappeared. For local leaders often motivated by short-term political convenience and short-sighted public frustration, they still represent a quick “fix” to gripes from citizens and media alike.

And the real estate community often has an economic interest in seeing homeless people shuffled from one tile of a city’s chess board to another, as has been the case in East Harlem since 2014. Pope Francis was visiting a church in that long-neglected corner of Manhattan that summer, prompting NYPD officers and city workers to aggressively relocate campers on a block many had made home in the name of security.

Heavy enforcement continued there long after the Pope was headed back to the Vatican, however. There’s a new luxury high-rise apartment block going up a block away. Indigent people in the area say developers are re-branding the area around the 125th Street Amtrak and commuter rail station as “Upper Grand Central Station” to help market the neighborhood to outsiders.

Homeless people have long congregated around the station. But they don’t fit the new image. Police have continued trying to push them out of the neighborhood, prompting homelessness charities and the New York Civil Liberties Union to mount a legal challenge earlier this year.

Link to original article from ThinkProgress

Read 24227 times
Andrea Miller

Andrea Miller, Co-Executive Director and IT Director, was the Democratic Nominee in 2008 for House of Representatives in the Virginia 4th District. Running on a Medicare for All and clean energy platform, Andrea was endorsed by PDA, California Nurses and The Sierra Club. Prior to running for office, Andrea was a part of Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s presidential campaign, first as Statewide Coordinator for Virginia and subsequently as Regional Coordinator. From 2006 until leading the VA Kucinich campaign Andrea was MoveOn.org’s Regional Coordinator for Central, Southwest and Hampton Roads areas of Virginia and West Virginia. Andrea is also the PDA Virginia co-chair as well as the Technical Director. Andrea co-hosts, organizes and programs PDA's Blog Talk Radio show. She is also the lead designer and production team leader for PDA's websites and printed materials. Andrea co-directs PDA's Capitol Hill letter drops and Hill meetings. Her problem-solving skills are essential to PDA's operations.

Meet the Hosts

Rev. Rodney Sadler

Dr. Sadler's work in the community includes terms as a board member of the N.C. Council of Churches, Siegel Avenue Partners, and Mecklenburg Ministries, and currently he serves on the boards of Union Presbyterian Seminary, Loaves and Fishes, the Hispanic Summer Program, and the Charlotte Chapter of the NAACP. His activism includes work with the Community for Creative Non-Violence in D.C., Durham C.A.N., H.E.L.P. Charlotte, and he has worked organizing clergy with and developing theological resources for the Forward Together/Moral Monday Movement in North Carolina. Rev. Sadler is the managing editor of the African American Devotional Bible, associate editor of the Africana Bible, and the author of Can a Cushite Change His Skin? An Examination of Race, Ethnicity, and Othering in the Hebrew Bible. He has published articles in Interpretation, Ex Audito, Christian Century, the Criswell Theological Review, and the Journal of the Society of Biblical Literature and has essays and entries in True to Our Native Land, the New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, the Westminster Dictionary of Church History, Light against Darkness, and several other publications. Among his research interests are the intersection of race and Scripture, the impact of our images of Jesus for the perpetuation of racial thought in America, the development of African American biblical interpretation in slave narratives, the enactment of justice in society based on biblical imperatives, and the intersection of religion and politics.

Rev. Rodney Sadler

Co - Chair - People Demanding Action
North Carolina Forward Together/Moral Monday Movem
Radio Host: Politics of Faith - Wednesday @ 11 am

People Power with Ernie Powell

Ernie Powell has been involved in public policy, progressive campaigns and grassroots efforts since the mid 1960's. He worked as a boycott organizer with the United Farm Workers from 1968 until 1973. He then became a community organizer in Santa Monica, California involved in affordable housing advocacy while working with others in laying the foundation for one of the most progressive local rent control measures in the country. He organized on behalf of environmental and coastal access and preservation issues in California as well. Beginning in 1993 he served as Advocacy Representative and later as Manager of Advocacy for AARP in California working on national and state issues. He left AARP in 2012 to work as Field Director for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare in Washington D.C. In late 2013 he returned to California and started a consulting business. He is a consultant with Social Security Works and is organizing groups nationally to fight for the protection and expansion of Social Security. He also consults with the California Long Term Care Ombudsman Association on issue impacting nursing home reform. He is a frequent author for Zocalo Public Square having just authored a piece on Social Security's 80th Birthday about the early impact of the Townsend Plan in building toward the passage of Social Security. Ernie has hosted two radio shows - the "Grassroots Corner" on "We Act Radio" in Washington D.C.and "the Campaign with Ernie Powell" at Radio Titans in Los Angeles. His focus for over 25 years has been on public policy issues impacting older Americans. He is a nationally recognized expert on grassroots organizing and campaigns. He is 66 years old and resides in Los Angeles, Ca.

Ernie Powell

Radio Host
Social Security Works
Los Angeles

Radio Host - Agitator Radio

Robert Dawkins is the founder of SAFE Coalition, North Carolina located in Charlotte, North Carolina. SAFE Coalition NC is a grassroots community coalition working to build public trust and accountability in NC law enforcement. We believe that critical dialogue, citizen oversight and legislative action are required to design a safe, accountable, fair and equitable system of criminal justice in our state.

Robert Dawkins

Founder
Safe Coalition, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina

Latest News

  • Trump administration's voter suppression attempts ahead of midterms are not only 'morally wrong,' they're illegal +

    Trump administration's voter suppression attempts ahead of midterms are not only 'morally wrong,' they're illegal Imagine going to the polls on Election Day and discovering that your ballot could be collected and reviewed by the Read More
  • ACLU Blueprints Offer Vision to Cut US Incarceration Rate in Half by Prioritizing 'People Over Prisons' +

    ACLU Blueprints Offer Vision to Cut US Incarceration Rate in Half by Prioritizing 'People Over Prisons' ACLU Blueprints Offer Vision to Cut US Incarceration Rate in Half by Prioritizing 'People Over Prisons' Read More
  • As Florence Makes Landfall, Poorest Once More Likely to Suffer Most From Storm's Destruction +

    As Florence Makes Landfall, Poorest Once More Likely to Suffer Most From Storm's Destruction "These disasters drag into the light exactly who is already being thrown away," notes Naomi Klein Read More
  • How about some good news? Kansas Democratic Representative advances bill for Native Peoples. +

    How about some good news? Kansas Democratic Representative advances bill for Native Peoples. How about some good news? Kansas Democratic Representative advances bill for Native Peoples. Read More
  • How One Dying Man Changed The Debate About The Tax Bill +

    How One Dying Man Changed The Debate About The Tax Bill What mattered was that he showed up — that he put himself in front of the people whose opinions on Read More
  • Democrats Just Won a Major Victory in Virginia +

    Democrats Just Won a Major Victory in Virginia On a night of Democratic victories, one of the most significant wins came in Virginia, where the party held onto Read More
  • Repealing the Jim Crow law that keeps 1.5 million Floridians from voting. +

    Repealing the Jim Crow law that keeps 1.5 million Floridians from voting. A seismic political battle that could send shockwaves all the way to the White House was launched last week in Read More
  • Nuclear Weapons: Who Pays, Who Profits? +

    Nuclear Weapons: Who Pays, Who Profits? In an interview with Reuters conducted a month after he took office, Donald Trump asserted that the U.S. had “fallen Read More
  • Sessions issues sweeping new criminal charging policy +

    Sessions issues sweeping new criminal charging policy Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned the sweeping criminal charging policy of former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. and directed Read More
  • 1
  • 2