More Outbursts at City Council Meeting Over Sacramento’s Anti-Camping Ordinance

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SACRAMENTO --

Another recess and more lost meeting time over outbursts inside Sacramento City Hall chambers as homeless advocates angle for a platform to push for solutions.

"Whose right to rest? Our right to rest. Can you open the blinds? We have supporters out there," shouted one woman from the audience inside council chambers.

She was threatened with arrest if she didn't sit down or leave.

She chose to leave -- loudly.

All that came after everyone entering got a newly written list of long-established rules for public comment during council meetings.

While the council was out of the room on recess, another woman stood up and made a suggestion.

"I have kids, and I'd really like to say my peace, so officers can have their break, so we can have our peace. Let it go for now," she said as some in the audience applauded.

Still with pleas for quiet, so the regular agenda could finish and 50 public comments could be heard, there was more shouting.

"That's a simple thing to open the blinds.  People on the outside can't see, you usually have the windows open," yelled Kevin Carter.

Once the meeting resumed, Carter interrupted again -- upset that he couldn't put his name on the list of more than 60 people who'd signed up to address the council during the standard public comment period.

Sitting in for an absent mayor, Councilman Rick Jennings informed him he submitted his speaker slip after the normal cut-off deadline and Carter relented.

As of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, all of the public comments offered were in favor of a homeless person's "right to rest" and against the city's anti-camping ordinance that advocates say has unfairly criminalized those without shelter.

This week's council meeting fell on the 50th day of an occupation at Sacramento City Hall designed to repeal that ordinance and on the same day that Black Lives Matter came to city hall to rally in support of the advocates' campaign.