(Albus and the Denver Metro Chamber of Corporate Whores)
After 9 months of debate, calls from citizens, emails and letters, petitions and organizations like change.org, ACLU, and Colorado Coalition of the Homeless opposing the ordinance, the City Council rammed the new “Urban Camping Ban” up the ass of the poor in Denver.
In a 9-4 vote, cut along the Class War lines, the City Council (with full on support and promotion by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce) pushed the homeless population of this city out of the only safety zones they have left and into the waiting abuse of the Corporate Security Forces. The purpose of the ban is not to assist in getting the homeless population connected with social services but, instead, is to force that population out of Denver and away from the view of suits and the politicians they own.
The speechifying, that justified the intolerance of the people, was eloquently evil by some and down-right hostile by others.
Against the proposal were representatives who actually care for their constituents as indicated by their continued open door and open communication with their neighborhoods. Susan K. Shepherd - District 1, Paul D. Lopez- District 3, Robin Kneich – At Large, and Deborah Ortega – At Large, spoke passionately and openly about their feelings but also spoke of FACTS (http://www.tgpdenver.org/homelessnessfaq )
- Over 12,000 homeless brothers and sisters in the fair Mile High city.
- Only 140 beds available for homeless and only a tiny very few available for women and children. This is DOWN over the past couple of years
- Soup kitchens, food banks, clothing and re-training have had funds cut across the board .
- There is a waiting list of 2000 people awaiting an opening for mental health services at Stout Street, a mental health facility that assists the homeless mentally ill– the only one in Denver
Drug treatment centers are closing, donations dried up and no one left to give serve. The services we have are over-burdened, falling apart and under-staffed.
Those who voted against the people (totaling 9 of the 13) were two-fold
- Albus Brooks, author, fearful and believer in “the big stick” theory of government personifies the evil done by those trying to deny their humanity as they claim compassion and concern. Pure ice water pumps through his veins as his smooth voice and practiced con rolls forward but when those on the council put forth their arguments, an attitude of arrogance and lack of caring belied the truth, as he munched and wiggled, played on the computer, and made faces of disdain – rolling eyes, hidden giggles, and shaking head – holding whispered conversations with others as he made a show of not listening. He even tried to spin the facts as they were given.
Denver has 140 beds for the homeless population – DOWN from a few years ago but ALBUS talks about getting the homeless into shelter; - he talks about the magnanimous Denver business community that might help with “250 beds” “committed” and how there will be as many as “40 for women”…. FORTY! As if that was something…
I can count over FORTY women in Cheesman Park, along 2 blocks of Colfax and Civic Center on a daily basis and that is out of over 3000 acres of parks in the City. I count over FORTY scared and worn women along Cherry Creek and Confluence without even looking to the viaducts and overpasses or behind high rise, high dollar condos in downtown or vacant buildings of Santa Fe and North Washington.
44% of the 12,000+ homeless in DENVER are women. Can’t figure it out, Albus? That’s 5280 – That sound familiar? It should…Easy to remember. Denver is 5280 feet above sea level. 5280 feet above the lowest of the low. WE NEED 5280 BEDS for homeless women JUST to catch UP!
Albus leads the charge for pushing the visible poverty out of his vision by using the strong arm of Boss White and the 6th worst police department in the US (known for brutality, harassment, illegal detention) to “deal” with families who have lost everything. Let them lose a bit more – no one cares, especially Albus.
He is supported by Christopher Herndon, District 11, who immediately claimed it was not for the money or revenue then tried to justify this bill by the actions of Colorado Springs. 600 people rousted from one camp who, eventually were placed into some services, a few were now not homeless, others returned to the street somewhere else.
Ok, 600 homeless found and discussed (there are many more but we can only talk about the 600) compared to the City of Denver, population over 600,000 with over 12,000 homeless…
Oh, and that 12,000 to be served with 140 shelter beds
Ah but the “police”, so Albus claims, will be “trained” to compassion and caring. Given a few hours to learn to be “sensitive” after they have spent the past decade rousting, harassing and bashing in the heads of the homeless in Denver
- The 2nd part of the wall of banning, we have Charlie Brown (District 6) and Peggy Lehmann (Council President Pro-Tem) The voice of corporate ownership.
Arrogance, willful ignorance and fear turned to hostility were palpable when listening to Charlie. Instead of discussing facts or position on the matter of the ban, he chose, instead to comment about the hundreds of emails and letters received but then chose only 3 that were for the ban …all self-centered and complaining about their discomfort at being confronted with a growing homeless population.
Wait a minute…WHOSE discomfort here?
I spoke with Councilwoman Lehmann yesterday by phone, before the meeting. Councilwoman was adamantly in support of the ban citing that “it takes 10 days to ruin a city’s reputation and 10 years to rebuild it” referring to the issue of visible homeless in the business districts is “ruining Denver’s reputation”. I suggested that the BAN is what is ruining the reputation showing we care more about the “appearance of a beautiful city” rather than BEING a “beautiful city. I expressed my dismay at the destruction of the City in which I chose to live 20 years ago - the loss of caring for the less fortunate, the focus on construction and expansion of business and loss of the community. I spoke of the police brutality and the use of that brutality to whip a citizenry into control to include a population that had nothing left to them. I spoke of the lack of services for helping the homeless and the poor, the loss of funds. I mentioned the raise voted and passed last year in the council member’s salaries, the funds wasted on retreats for city council and DPS administrators to posh resorts.
Her response was cold as she simply stated that she and the City are trying to attract business and can’t do so with people sleeping in doorways and visibly detracting from the city. She then stated that she may be wrong but we will “just have to wait and see”.
Wait and see as she and her cohorts decide to make a population of 12,000 criminals?
The corruption of the 1% is not just on Wall Street, NYC, and K Street, Washington, DC; it is not just in the halls of Congress, the bench of SCOTUS, and the Manse of the WH. It is rampant in our country and has infected every aspect of government, all the way through the City Councils, the County offices and the Districts in each. Denver is the example that proves the rule.
Caring more about money than people, the city council (as urged, paid and petted by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and the huge corporations they represent) decided criminalizing our brothers and sisters; sons and daughters trying to survive- having lost everything or had everything taken from them, ill, disabled, PTSD’d - are now to be subjected to full on, institutionalized and legalized abuse and oppression.
After all, isn’t it better to drive the most vulnerable among us out of the city, jail them, instill more fear and anger, create a bigger divide between the “haves and the have nots”, cut more funding and make sure that you don’t see the squalor, the pain, the filth, the disease, then it is to deal with the sky-rocketing poverty; to deal with the lack of services in mental health, food, shelter, clothing, jobs, training and re-training; to prevent the crimes against the populace that create the poverty, the self-destruction and the self-mutilation; to deal with the lack of safety and security for the vulnerable, the fearful, and the oppressed; and to deal with the lack of social awareness and understanding by a fearful and ignorant populace that finds hiding better than awareness?
As far as the City Council is concerned, we can cut funding to shelters, soup kitchens, mental health professionals and social services and let the police handle it. The police, led by Boss White, new acting Chief who took over for Boss Whitman, the city’s decade long king of failure to “protect and serve” the citizens and promoter of brutality and abuse, corruption and bigotry. Boss White, the new boss same as the old boss, who still allows for the brutality and nepotism that creates the Denver Police Department - A department that continues to use their badge to be brutal, corrupt, and arrogantly against the citizens and acts as security for the corporate state.….
(cross posted on "Freak Out Nation"