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San Francisco Food Not Bombs endorses the California Right to Rest Campaign and has sent letters of support to the sponsoring State Senator, Carol Liu, and to our local State Senator, Mark Leno.

More information on the campaign here:  http://wraphome.org/?p=4058&option=com_wordpress&Itemid=119.

Here’s our support letter:

March 23, 2015

Honorable Carol Liu
California State Senate
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: Right to Rest Act of 2015, SB 608 (Liu) - Support

Dear Senator Liu,

San Francisco Food Not Bombs supports your bill, SB 608, which will end
the criminalization of rest and accompanying violations of basic human and
civil rights for all people, regardless of their housing status.  In doing
so, SB 608 would encourage the diversion of expenditures on citing and
jailing people for resting in public spaces on efforts to prevent
homelessness.

California, with only 12 percent of the country’s overall population but
22 percent of its homeless population and 25 percent of its homeless
veteran population, is at the epicenter of the criminalization of
homelessness. According to the National Law Center on Homelessness and
Poverty, California cities are substantially more likely than cities in
other states to ban rest. While only 33 percent of non-California cities
restrict this activity, 74 percent of California cities ban the practice.

Researchers from the Policy Advocacy Clinic at the University of
California at Berkeley Law School analyzed the prevalence of these types
of municipal codes restricting rest and sharing of food in 58 California
cities for its report “California’s New Vagrancy Laws: The Growing
Enactment and Enforcement of Anti-Homeless Laws in the Golden State.” 
Researchers identified over 500 municipal laws criminalizing standing,
sitting, resting, sleeping and sharing of food in public places as well as
laws making it illegal to ask for money, nearly nine laws per city, on
average. The study also found that the number of ordinances targeting
those behaviors rose along with the rise in homelessness following the
sharp decline of federal funding for affordable housing that was cut in
the early 1980s and again with the Great Recession in 2008.

Criminalizing practices which are not criminal not only worsens the
condition of people without homes, but also narrows their opportunities to
escape homelessness. By acknowledging the failure of municipal laws that
criminalize poverty and homelessness, we hope that passage of this
legislation will improve the focus on more humane and effective responses
to homelessness.

The Right to Rest Act of 2015 will end the practice of citing and
imprisoning Californians for resting, sharing food or practicing religion
in public.

 San Francisco Food Not Bombs supports SB 608 and thanks you for
introducing this important legislation.

Sincerely,
San Francisco Food Not Bombs

Servings

Note: Servings may cancel in the event of rain

TUES: none try curry without worry – UN Plaza @ Hyde St – 5:30PM

THURS: 16th & Mission – 6:00PM

FRI: Market & Hyde – 7:00PM

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March 2015
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