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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/5/19

Homelessness Is Just Another Excuse Trump Pushes To Punish California

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Then they came for the homeless.

Under the guise of "environmental violation"--citing needles and waste--the Trump administration has threatened to use police to remove the homeless.

Last month, Trump told a pool reporter aboard Air Force One that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would within a week put San Francisco, California, on notice because of supposed used hypodermic needles flowing through the city's storm drains into the Pacific ocean.

San Francisco officials, however, insist this is untrue because the city's Public Utilities Commission catch basins trap storm-drain debris, and its two treatment facilities process any unfiltered runoff or pollutants.

San Francisco Mayor, London Breed, explained:

"To be clear, San Francisco has a combined sewer system, one of the best and most effective in the country, that ensures that all debris that flow into storm drains are filtered out at the city's wastewater-treatment plants. No debris flow out into the bay or the ocean."

The Coalition on Homelessness organizer for human rights, Kelley Cutler, stated:

"This is the president of the United States that is putting out this nonsense and social stigma. He has a massive audience and he is putting out this narrative that is very concerning. This can't be something we just dismiss."

Activists argue Trump's latest assault is nothing but nimbyism--"Not In My Backyard."

Trump was referring to a Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) report prior to his California visit last week.

That report states:

"Policing may be an important tool to help move people off the street and into shelter or housing where they can get the services they need."

It adds that half of all unsheltered homeless people live in California, and allowing the homeless to sleep in the streets increases the homeless population.

However, much research shows criminalization of homelessness, particularly their arrest, is ineffective and expensive since it makes it more difficult to obtain housing; it can also leave them with criminal records and fees.

The CEA report actually acknowledges this:

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)

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