Once again Sacramento city hall erupts in angry protest over the issue of how to help the homeless.
After pledging to hear all 25 public speakers on the matter as long as everyone followed chamber rules, Councilman Rick Jennings shut down the meeting when activists continued to opt for applause after comments instead of silent shows of support.
Jennings was running the meeting for an absent mayor, who left halfway through the agenda.
The issue of how to help the homeless was officially discussed before the council after 43 days worth of a city hall occupation designed to overturn Sacramento’s anti-camping ordinance.
It’s a measure many believe unfairly criminalizes homelessness.
Advocates in the council crowd were hoping to be added to what they thought was a city task force on the issue.
They seemed to miss when Councilman Schenirer explained it’s really just a subcommittee of three council members, not a panel with slots to be filled by the public.
He promised the three would sit down with a group of leaders suggested to them by the homeless to find solutions.
That message didn’t seem to get across either.
“They’re cowards,” said Bob Saunders, a Sacramentan who supports a reversal of the anti-camping ordinance.
“They don’t do this when they applaud for the Kings,” said homeless advocate James ‘Faygo’ Clark. “What the hell’s up with that?”
Clark started a hunger strike a week ago to call attention to what he says is Sacramento’s unconstitutional treatment of the homeless.
He’s using a wheelchair this week to conserve calories.
The City has added a new page dedicated to homelessness to its website.