I’m happy to see the civic participation of old and new immigrants, citizens, and residents — omg, what could we not accomplish with such energy? I am, however, sad to see the fear and discrimination continue. What will it take for folks to get on the wagon and unite to end homelessness by saying, yes, let’s do it? They seem adamant that this is an OC problem. Not one for Irvine whose motto is the City of Innovation.
The Irvine Tent City Protesters, now called Irvine Residents for Responsible OC Solutions showed up, by the hundreds again, at Irvine City Council meeting on April 10, 2018. Homelessness wasn’t even on the agenda but they were there to share their volunteer solutions. They handed out flyers to all of us walking in. The council meeting though ended quickly. But neither they nor most of the council members, with the exception of Mayor Wagner (?), dispersed after the meeting. Instead, we milled around in the courtyard chatting. I even had a chance to engage a council member in a long and meaningful discussion (more about this later).
Los Pinos Conservation Camp site is their solution. While this solution won’t work for a number of reasons (too far from jobs, Federal land, akin to internment camps, etc.) the language of the protestors has improved. I would like to believe this is the power of participatory democracy; having been at the Board of Supervisors meeting and hearing the people from Santa Ana ask, what about our children, has increased their compassion, empathy. The protest signs now include “All Kids Deserve Better” / OC Children Deserve Better” (instead of the old No drugs near our children / No Tent City in Irvine, Our children need safety). On the signs at least they’re no longer stereotyping, labeling or stigmatizing the people experiencing homelessness as “druggies” and “criminals.” So that is optimistic. On the other hand, they are threatening our City Council Members (Elections coming — We will Remember) and proposing segregation (anywhere but in my city or your city and as far away as possible) as the solution :(. The public comments continue to express entitlement, fear, classism, and anger against the judge.
Guess what? They given us a new hashtag: #IrvineForEveryone.
Doesn’t it fit our motto — City of Innovation? Doesn’t it go well with our city’s values of Integrity, Quality Service, Accountability, and Respect?
#EndHomelessnessOC #StepUpIrvine #IrvineForEveryone