I wasn’t online much over the weekend and I neglected to post anything on Friday Night’s Meeting about the homeless/transient issues. It didn’t go well, partly due to the presences of well-intentioned but emotionally-charged activists from the northern part of the County. I don’t put full blame on them however. There are still plenty of people who would rather scream than work towards productive solutions.
Basically, the crowd was larger than the first and a number of people who were not present at the first meeting seemed to fail to understand the goodwill which had arisen from the first meeting. Most clearly gave up another Friday to work towards something productive. Some reported negative progress on the ground. Others reported positive progress, particularly in Redway.
I think much of the goodwill evaporated when one individual decided to tell the business owners to “eat s—.” It angered many, including myself and I moved to nix the meeting right then and there before it got real ugly. A number of people walked out, but Paul Encimer persuaded me to make an attempt to salvage the meeting, and the rest of the night was fairly productive. What became clear to me however, is that while more meetings might be nice, there has to be some action. In my view the homeless/transients and their advocates need to organize a formal clean-up “self-policing” crew with liazon to the business community. The business community needs to respond positively with a pragmatic understanding that the problem is not going to simply disappear, but can only be mitigated with some engagement. I would suggest a meeting of business owners to discuss the possibility of some sort of committee to address the issue.
In any case, the status quo is unacceptable, but inevitable if we don’t move forward somehow. I’m all ears.