Sacremento Must Hate Homeless People

There are times that I wish my friend Daniel Thompson were still alive.  He would have had a field day writing poems about this issue.  This comes to us from Sacramento advocates who testified in oppositon to these new rules limiting access to the transit authority for low income people.  My favorite rule that I think Daniel would have also teed off on was that a person must wear footwear with a sole and must wear clothing above and below the waist.  Daniel would have played on sole and soul and talked about those who sold their soul not being able to ride.   Daniel would have loved exploring a string bikini as a piece of clothing appearing above and below the waist or the exile of the phrase "no shoes, no shirt, no service" for this new language requiring further explanation about below the waist clothing.  The whole thing is strange and so unreasonable. Here is the language:

  • Boarding a vehicle unless clothed above and below the waist and wearing footwear that has a sole (clarification of an existing rule).
  • Emanating a noxious odor, whether from body, clothing, or possessions, that results in discomfort or inconvenience to passengers, unless the odor is the result of a disability or medical condition.
  • Sleeping on a train that has reached the end of a light rail line.
  • Playing sound equipment that is audible to other passengers.

The proposed amendments include changes intended to better reflect Transit Agency's Code of Conduct. These all come as the city prepares for a new playground arena for the wealthy who can afford to pay to see the professional basketball and concerts in downtown Sacramento.   The second bullet point about the highly subjective "emanating a noxious odor..." was removed but the other provisions passed. 

I am still having trouble understanding why any of these are necessary.  Are there a huge numbers of people with holes in their shoes who try to ride the Sacramento Rapid without pants?  Why not include those who showing their underwear?  Don't you always have to get off the train at the end of the line if you are sleeping or wide awake?  Were drivers allowing homeless people to sleep in the train cars after they parked at the end of the rapid lines or was this some form of punishment for tired riders that they locked you in the car at the end of the line if you fell asleep? From the 1970s and 80s with the age of the Walkman weren't there rules about loud music already in place? 

The City of Denver seems to have similar hate problems with the crushing of a Tiny Homes group last week.  Denver is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country and rents are out of control.  There are not the shelters to serve the number of people who are being priced out of the housing market.  A group, Denver Out Loud, staged a protest after attempting to find a place to build these homes.  They were tired of waiting and were worried that the weather was getting cold so they set up their structures in a public park.  Police and city officials were quick to crush the protest without answering the bigger issue.   It seemed like it was similar to turning on the fire hoses and bringing out the police dogs in response to the protest in the 1960s.  These individuals are petitioning their government for redress and deserve a non-violent response for government to solve problems. 

Brian Davis

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