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An Angry Citizen Protests Escondido City Council's Decision

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Here in Escondido, the City Council has denied an emergency
winter shelter for the second time - and contrary to what many may think up
north, it gets mighty cold down here at night, and the people need shelter.

Check out this article i have enclosed. i would like one [or more] of my
peoples bark news readers to help me format a petition about this i want to
put up online at http://www.petitiononline.com - Will one, or some, of you
pbnb readers please help me with this?

What i would need also is that as many of you as can, to send this [and the
forthcoming petition [link] out to as many people as possible, with the
message that those people send out to their lists, as well.

i am going to include the email addresses of the Escondido City Council as
well.

Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler and Councilman Dick Daniels voted in favor of the
shelter during the packed meeting attended by dozens of community members in
favor of the shelter as well as people on both sides of the illegal
immigration issue. Several of those who spoke said they had been or are
homeless.

Also keep in mind that the people voting to deny this shelter have also most
recently been the same racists who have tried to pass an ordinance to get
homeowners to deny rentals to immigrants here questionably.

Council members Ed Gallo, Sam Abed and Marie Waldron opposed the shelter
request, saying as they did three weeks ago that the city is already doing
more than its share to help North County's homeless and that a shelter would
attract more homeless people to Escondido.

This bad guy:
Abed tied the shelter proposal to another matter considered by the council
later in the evening, a resolution against illegal immigration.

i am so freaking angry about this and generally when anger tries to creep
in, activism does a much better job, so please help me vent my anger, along
with you, in this much more positively constructive way.

John Vance jvance@riseup.net

Email for Escondido City Council:

Our friend! -supports shelter!
Lori Holt Pfeiler, Mayor
City Mayor's Office: (760) 839-4610
City Council's Office: (760) 839-4638
lpfeiler@escondido.org

NOT our friend!
Does not support shelter and anti-"illegal" immigrant
Sam Abed, Mayor Pro Tem
sabed@escondido.org

NOT our friend!
Does not support shelter and anti-"illegal" immigrant
Ed Gallo, Council Member
egallo@escondido.org

NOT our friend!
Does not support shelter and anti-"illegal" immigrant
Marie Waldron, Council Member
mwaldron@escondido.org

OUR friend!
Does support shelter!
Dick Daniels, Council Member
ddaniels@escondido.org




http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/01/11/news/inland/1_01_211_10_07.txt

Escondido City Council rejects second request for homeless shelter

By: PAUL EAKINS - Staff Writer

ESCONDIDO -- The Escondido City Council said "no" Wednesday for a second
time to the Salvation Army's request to open an emergency winter shelter for
the homeless.

In a 3-2 vote during its late-afternoon meeting, the council rejected the
organization's request to operate a 40-bed, climate-activated shelter
through March 15, but unanimously approved an initiative to start up a North
County task force on the homeless.

Council members Ed Gallo, Sam Abed and Marie Waldron opposed the shelter
request, saying as they did three weeks ago that the city is already doing
more than its share to help North County's homeless and that a shelter would
attract more homeless people to Escondido.


Abed tied the shelter proposal to another matter considered by the council
later in the evening, a resolution against illegal immigration.

"We are sick and tired of making Escondido a sanctuary for homelessness, for
illegal immigration, for poverty, for low-income housing, for crime, for
gangs," Abed said.

Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler and Councilman Dick Daniels voted in favor of the
shelter during the packed meeting attended by dozens of community members in
favor of the shelter as well as people on both sides of the illegal
immigration issue. Several of those who spoke said they had been or are
homeless.

When the Salvation Army went to the City Council with a similar shelter
request Dec. 20, no vote was made because every council member but Pfeiler
voiced opposition to the shelter.

After that decision, the Salvation Army found a way to open its shelter for
a time by becoming part of a regional winter shelter sponsored by area
churches that rotates among North County communities. However, Sunday night
was the last night the rotational shelter was scheduled to be in Escondido
before moving to Poway.

Daniels had announced Monday that he was reversing his position on the
issue, a decision he addressed Wednesday.

After "soul searching" and "personal reflection," Daniels said, he had
decided to support the shelter, for which the Salvation Army had asked no
city funds.

"It's the right thing to do in the matter of human compassion," Daniels
said. "This particular proposal has no cost to the city and is something we
can and should do."

More than a dozen people spoke to the council in favor of opening the
shelter, while a handful spoke against it.

Abed presented a report at the meeting that he had requested city staff
members to compile, which he said shows Escondido is contributing far more
money than any other North County community to help the homeless.

With 777 beds for various homeless programs, Escondido has more than any
other North County city, Abed said, and is second only to Del Mar in its
per-capita spending for the homeless.

However, Mel Takahara, program director for the Salvation Army, told the
council that all of the 777 beds are for specialized programs, and the city
has no emergency shelter where anyone needing to get out of the cold can
simply walk in.

Last year, Escondido lost its regular winter shelter, which was operated by
Interfaith Community Services, when that organization turned the space into
a permanent shelter for disabled and senior veterans.

Takahara said the proposed shelter, which would be in the gymnasium of the
Salvation Army's location at 1301 Las Villas Way, near the intersection of
Centre City and El Norte parkways, only would open when temperatures drop
below 40 degrees or there is rain. This intermittent service would make it
unlikely homeless people would come from other communities to stay at the
shelter, he said.

Escondido clinical psychologist Michele LaRue told the council she had done
a survey of the people who had stayed at the shelter and had found that
about 75 percent had a long-term connection to Escondido.

Takahara said the Salvation Army wants to fill the important role of
providing an emergency shelter.

"These shelter beds may be a small number, but they do represent a critical
part of the continuum of homeless services," Takahara told the council.

He said after the meeting that he would talk with the Salvation Army's
leaders to explore other ways to open the shelter, noting that while the
Salvation Army requires him to get the council's permission, it isn't clear
that a church would need permission.

"Let's not forget that the Salvation Army is a church," Takahara said.

-- Contact staff writer Paul Eakins at (760) 740-5420 or peakins@nctimes.com

--------------------------------------
Opinion from the North County Times

Escondido should back shelter this time

By: North County Times Opinion staff -

We're glad to see that Escondido City Councilman Dick Daniels reversed his
position on the Salvation Army's request to operate a cold-weather homeless
shelter. His three colleagues should follow the lead tonight when the
proposal comes back before the council.

Through strained logic the council rejected a Salvation Army proposal to
open the shelter, which would house 40 beds for the homeless on cold nights
or when it rains. Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler was the only one who argued for
it. The shelter opened for two weeks anyway, as the Salvation Army found a
way around City Hall by joining a rotating shelter network.

Council members said they don't want Escondido to become the destination for
all of North County's homeless. They noted that the city donates more than
any other in North County to homeless programs and said other cities need to
pick up the slack.


Daniels rightly realized that denying shelter this winter isn't going to
take steps toward a regional solution and will only leave the city's poorest
vulnerable to the elements. Sam Abed, Ed Gallo and Marie Waldron should do
the same, especially since the shelter won't cost the city a dime.
-------------------------
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John Vance is a concerned citizen living in Southern California.

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An Angry Citizen Protests Escondido City Council's Decision

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