Guest Commentary - Your Voice is Needed: Vote to Kill Homelessness Measure is Tuesday

By Joshua Wood | Executive Director, Region Business |

If you want to save our City from skyrocketing homelessness, please read this message!

We are headed into some defining days for the City on Sacramento and, frankly the region. As you know, homelessness is skyrocketing in Sacramento and destroying our City and region. In response to your concerns, the business community, led by Region Business and Metro Chamber, organized a campaign together with labor unions, civic groups, and passionate citizens to bring a measure to the City this November called the Conway Plan. 

The Conway plan was a comprehensive plan developed by the top legal minds in the State that would enable the City to enforce anti-campaign rules, site and build housing, and work towards reducing the total number of homeless by a drastic amount. It was such an effective, comprehensive solution that other City’s in California copied it and placed it on their ballots for November. With the Conway Plan polling at 71%, we began building a massive coalition and collecting thousands of signatures to get it on the November ballot.  

When we were over half-way finished getting our signatures, the City leadership reach out. They asked for us to work with them to make some small amendments and in exchange they would place our measure on the ballot. This would mean saving the cost of paying to collect signatures and more importantly, gaining buy-in from the City leaders who we would need to implement the measure effectively. In good faith, we worked with the City…and the Council voted 7-2 to place our measure on the ballot. We won! There was great excitement about the City Approve Conway Plan finally fixing our homeless situation. 

However, within 24 hours of us rescinding our official petition (which we had to do per the agreement), the City began saying they were going to pull the City Approved Conway Plan from the ballot. We were shocked and angered! Then they changed their minds. They decided to add provisions to make the measure contingent upon a list of actions by Sacramento County (which they’ve been asking about for years and KNOW will not likely happen). 

We oppose this proposal that the Council will hear on Tuesday to essentially kill the City Approved Conway Plan  The idea of presenting a ballot measure to the voters of Sacramento that would give a false sense of hope and have zero impact is reprehensible. Instead, the City should keep its word and let the voters vote on the City Approved Conway Plan.

The City is Meeting Tuesday at 6:00pm to hear this horrible change. We ask that you would participate in the Tuesday meeting. 

If there was ever a time to inform your employees or sign up your family and friends to save our City, it’s now. If you can get 10 people, get 10 people. If you can get 20 people, get 20. If it’s just you, that ok. But we need Sacramentans to stand up for saving Sacramento. We can provide you with talking points to help you make your voice heard.

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

Under the guise of compassion, the author's article conveniently seems to skirt around the details of the Conway Plan and the Sacramento response. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Conway Plan facilitates forcing homeless to pack up their belongings and move off public property or their possessions will be confiscated and thrown away. 

The fact is, the moneybags who run the County and cities in the region (Elk Grove included) would like the homeless to be herded up like cattle and sent out to distant pastures, away from their big investment properties. I'm sure Darrell Steinberg is catching hell from Region Business and their well-heeled backers to clean up downtown or else. Or else means, all civic leaders who show too much authentic compassion for the homeless will not be reelected.

Region Business sells itself as the lobby for economic development in the region and they do a pretty good job at that--them and a whole host of others who when assembled, resemble schoolyard bullies ganging up on the slow, chubby boy in the schoolyard playground--or in this case, the homeless.

Economic Development is a fine buzzword and a lot of pontificating economic development gurus in the region are making a nice buck off that message. But for Region Business to now try to sell us on their compassion for the homeless is just too much for me to stomach.  

People, all people including the homeless, are the fabric of our society--not your fancy real estate investment properties and new housing tracts. 

Atticus Finch said...

Government's solution to solving the homeless crisis is the same as its always been - which is to deflect, point fingers, blame others, make excuses and of course throw some money at the problem, all in the efforts to kick the can down the road. It's a problem many want solved, but too few are willing to make any sacrifices to do it. The housing first model has been used throughout the country with a large degree of success, but only if the community and elected officials support it. Therein lies the problem. NO ONE wants "affordable", i.e. low income or supportive housing near them. If a politician tells you he/she is serious about solving the homeless crisis and you believe them,I've got snake oil to sell you.

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