EPIC CITY HALL SLUMBER PARTY 1 31 12

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EPIC CITY HALL SLUMBER PARTY

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Slumber.jpg
  • Date: Tuesday, Jan 31 at 10:00pm until Wed Feb 1 at 8:30am

Purpose

We will be sleeping on the sidewalk in support of the basic human right to sleep, and in protest of the cities 'camping ban' which makes it illegal to create any sort of shelter (including a sleeping bag).

There are Portlanders (including families) who break the law every single night, and risk random arrest and loss of possessions, just simply by sleeping.

My goal is to make a chain of people that wraps around City Hall ensuring that members of City Council will have to literally walk over a body to get to work. Of course they will figure out a way to not have to do that, but it is still our goal!!!

We picked the 31st so that we would be in front of City Hall on the morning of February 1st when the city begins to fine Right2DreamToo, a self sustaining rest area on West Burnside.

The City of Portland's Bureau of Development Services (BDS) is fining a group that is providing emergency shelter to dozens of people in downtown for code violations related to recreational camping ordinances.

Right 2 Dream Too set up an emergency rest area for people who are houseless on Fourth and Burnside on National Homeless Day October 10, 2011. Since then R2DToo has provided shelter, food, referrals, and community for 50-70 people a night at no cost to the city.

On January 1, 2012 leaders of the group received notice that they would be fined $641.30 a month because they did not comply with city code relating to recreational camping. The group's leaders filed an appeal pointing out that this is not a recreational camping area

"There is a wide gulf between operating a recreational facility with the goal of sheltering people on vacation and operating a facility with the goal of sheltering people who can not otherwise obtain safe shelter and experience a restful sleep. It is illogical to lump them under the same set of administrative rules. We strongly object to language that suggests anything we are doing is in any way related to recreational activities."

The group offered work with the Bureau personnel to investigate the developmental permit process, and asked the City to waive penalties due to hardship. In a reply letter the Bureau of Development Services denied the appeal informed R2DToo that they must file an Administrative Review Appeal along with a fee of $1,215 by January 16, 2012 if they want to appeal further.

"Why should a group of people who sleep in tents, with no other housing option, be considered a recreational campground? ," asks Ibrahim Mubarak, one of the organizers of Right 2 Dream Too. "With hundreds of people on the street, and the numbers climbing daily, why is BDS fining us for trying to be safe and survive?"

Members of the group are undaunted, though. They will continue to talk with city officials to work out a solution while advocating for their rights.

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