“Sanctuary Camp” Working Group Notes, Feb 27, 2013

Opening of meeting “Go ’round”: Introductions and expectations for meeting

Participants agree to meet for 90 minutes

Presentation of “Sanctuary Camp” as currently envisioned, including references to models that are WORKING in other communities.  Also known as “tent cities” (please add a link in comments section, to the facebook page where there is a community dialogue on this.  Thanks.  I wasn’t taking notes during that initial presentation.)

Discussion (sketches):

  • Assertion of Right to Sleep
  • Organize for an open dialogue with community at April 6 meeting
  • Question: “Who is doing what?”
  • Desire to discuss details such as “where” on April 6
  • County Government is currently creating a plan for rehousing “early release” prisoners due to prison overcrowding issue
  • Desire to see positive use of County funds allocated for Mental Health (could that go into supportive housing?  Could that go into community mental health workers, which might be useful for a community-based sanctuary camp project?)
  • Need for discussion of “lessons learned” or best practices from previous camps, such as agreements around drug and alcohol use/non use in camp, responsibilities of campers, curfews, quiet hours, inclusion/exclusion of people (e.g. “locals only”), enforcement of camp rules (including relationship with law enforcement entities), how many people?
  • Question: Is this two separate projects?  One short term, another long term?
  • Expression of solidarity with fulfillment of immediate needs
  • Restatement of desire to discuss details later
  • Commitment from one activist to promoting April 6 meeting date by distributing flyers
  • Discussion of what info might be on flyer: Gary Johnson court decision to come down March 21, 4 PM, “solidarity with prisoners” rally (also scheduled for April 6), Food Not Bombs meal, Sanctuary Camp Community Meeting
  • Desire for next Working Group meeting to be at Louden Nelson (decision moved to end of meeting)
  • Opening of discussion of this working group’s decision-making model, with differences outlined but not fully discussed: consensus model, majority vote, autonomy, “dictatorship” (discussion shut down by meeting facilitator… sorry, I didn’t feel we had the time and energy then, uncertain if there might be two working groups moving forward, such as one for camp planning and the other for PR campaign)
  • Raising briefly issues of money for porta-potties, connecting with churches
  • Ideas regarding “protest camp” versus “sanctuary camp” or is this a false dichotomy: permanent camps have arisen out of protests in the past…
  • Need for health services to be provided, including mental health

NEXT STEPS

  1. Next Meeting: the community is invited to the Post Office steps at 4 PM this Saturday, March 2, to informally discuss ideas, thoughts, hopes and dreams, campaign strategy, life, and everything over a delicious vegan meal to be provided weekly by Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs.  Occupy Santa Cruz General Assembly follows at 5:30 PM, where discussion and proposals can be decided through the consensus process of OSC.
  2. Draft of publicity flyer to be submitted for approval of GA on Saturday (Thank you!)