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Restoring Public Spaces

Posted on 07/18/2021
Public Spaces Encampments

Earlier today, the City Council passed an ordinance (13-2) to reestablish regulations on where people can sit, lie, and sleep in public spaces. While it isn't perfect, it is progress. The status quo of allowing people to live on our streets is unacceptable, inhumane, and dangerous for both the housed and unhoused and city action on this issue was long overdue.

Homelessness is NOT just a housing problem. We will never build our way out of this crisis. The solution will require a multi-pronged approach that includes housing, ensuring the health and safety of our public spaces and public rights-of-way, and addressing the mental health and substance abuse crisis on our streets. Today we have begun to address the health and safety issues in our public spaces, but we need to continue to push forward with solutions that address the myriad issues that cause people to fall into homelessness in the first place.

I'm proud to have initiated the legislative process, together with Councilmember Joe Buscaino, to address some of the unforeseen, community-wide impacts of the growing homelessness crisis. We have a long way to go, but I will continue to fight to bring a broader perspective to the city's ongoing discussions on homelessness.