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Measure C: An inflection point in Mountain View's approach to homelessness

Cars drive by parked RVs and trailers lining Shoreline Boulevard on Nov. 27, 2018. Photo by Magali Gauthier

This November, Mountain View voters will be faced with a traffic safety measure that has almost nothing to do with traffic safety.

Measure C, in reality, marks a critical juncture in the city's response to homelessness, and will determine whether those who are unhoused and living in RVs will be banned from parking on most city streets. City officials have long held that such a prohibition only makes sense when the homeless have an alternate place to go, leaving voters on Election Day with the challenge of deciding whether that goal has been met.

The pivotal moment has been a long time coming, resulting from five years of back-and-forth over how Mountain View should best address a steady rise in homelessness. The latest count shows the city has more than 600 homeless residents, the most visible of whom live in hundreds of cars and RVs that serve as makeshift homes.

Most of the RVs are clustered along just a handful of city streets, including Crisanto Avenue, which has an estimated 70 inhabited vehicles and has received national attention for being a de facto RV park.

Emerging from the debate is how to best balance compassion for the unhoused against enforcement of parking rules and perceived public safety hazards. For some, it's a question of whether Mountain View has an obligation to do more than neighboring cities to support the homeless. For others, it comes down to a moral question of whether it's right to allow residents to live in vehicles on the street, permitting a lifestyle borne out of desperation.

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The emotionally charged issue, traditionally played out at council meetings, is now finally before voters, in the middle of a pandemic. And while it's unlikely to resolve the dispute in its entirety, Measure C's fate will certainly bend the city's approach to homeless RV dwellers that has divided city residents for years.

The path to the ballot box

Measure C can be traced directly back the results of the 2018 election.

Up until then, the City Council was largely unwilling to pass parking restrictions aimed at ousting the homeless. Even a vote to study the idea was rejected.

But multiple council members who rejected the idea were suddenly off the council after the 2018 election. Then-Councilman Ken Rosenberg did not run for reelection, and council members Pat Showalter and Lenny Siegel lost their reelection bids. Fast forward to March 2019, just months after the newly elected members were sworn in, and the council was ready for a citywide ban.

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March 2019 was also the moment the oversized vehicle ban went from a homelessness enforcement policy to one about traffic safety. A 2014 court decision found that prohibiting people from living in vehicles is unconstitutional and tantamount to criminalizing homelessness, making similar laws in Palo Alto and Sunnyvale unenforceable.

In order to avoid a lawsuit, city officials pivoted on the language. It was no longer about the homeless, but about banning vehicles that reduce bike safety, parking availability and create "line-of-sight" obstructions.

The council's parking prohibitions were split into two parts, restricting parking for any vehicle that is more than 22 feet long, 7 feet high or 7 feet wide. One ordinance banned oversized vehicles on streets with bike lanes, while the other banned them on any "narrow" street less than 40 feet wide. When it was passed, it was unknown exactly which streets in Mountain View met the "narrow streets" definition.

Parked RVs and trailers line Shoreline Boulevard on Nov. 27, 2018. Photo by Magali Gauthier

While the restrictions on streets with bike lanes were uncontested and went into effect last year, the narrow streets ban was immediately challenged. Residents began collecting signatures the day the ordinance passed, seeking a referendum that would force the City Council to reconsider.

The referendum gave the City Council the option to either toss out the ordinance or place it before voters to decide. Council members chose the latter, placing it on the Nov. 3 ballot as Measure C.

An end to unsanctioned housing

Proponents of Measure C argue that public streets should not be used as a place to live, and that allowing de facto RV parks disconnected from basic services has caused a whole host of problems.

Complaints of excessive litter and garbage, leaking RVs, loud generators, unleashed pets and concerns of criminal activity have swirled around the issue of vehicle dwellers for years. Perhaps the most visceral are the reports of dumped raw sewage and discarded human waste.

Shari Emling, one of Measure C's most vocal proponents, said Mountain View's streets were never designed for habitation. On top of problems like sewage dumping, she said she believes there is a small minority of vehicle dwellers that brings a criminal element to these unsanctioned communities.

Emling said the city's loose approach has only attracted more people to live in these inhumane conditions, and that Mountain View's taxpayers are stuck footing the bill for a regional problem.

"Measure C is the most positive thing we can do right now and it's the only way forward," Emling said. "Yes there is a repercussion because certain people will have to move out of town, but that's how it is. We can't solve it for the entire Peninsula anymore."

Supporters of the measure also say the city has accomplished its initial goal, which was to provide an alternative for vehicle dwellers prior to parking enforcement. Mountain View has launched a robust safe parking program that can support more than 100 vehicles, most of them RVs, and recent reports show the program is close to capacity with a slim waiting list.

To Emling, that's a signal that anyone who wants help from the city -- including a safe, designated place to park with case management services -- can get it, and the remaining vehicle dwellers that decline to participate must move elsewhere.

"They have to want the help," she said. "There are a lot of people living on the street who don't want safe housing, they will not answer their door or they actually say they want to live on the street. We can't help those people."

Wilmer Ochoa places a blanket on the dashboard of his RV in the safe parking area in the Shoreline Amphitheatre parking lot. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Some of the complaints are anecdotal and difficult to substantiate. For sewage dumping, city officials said it's hard to pinpoint trends due to big fluctuations and evolving efforts to collect data. The city reported an average of 11 incidents of illegal waste dumping per quarter between July and December 2017, but only one in the first quarter of 2018.

Proponents of Measure C point to a 2018 quote from police spokeswoman Katie Nelson, who told media outlets that many of the RVs are leaking sewage into the street or outright dumping it into grass areas and in gutters.

Last year, Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga told an ABC7 reporter that gang violence was also a problem among people living in RVs. At the time, police Chief Max Bosel said there have been some instances of gang-related arrests, but there is "no evidence that suggests people living in vehicles are any more or less likely to commit crimes."

A call for compassion

To Mountain View resident Dave Arnone, many of the arguments in favor of Measure C ring hollow. To call it a traffic safety measure is disingenuous, he said, but to call it a compassionate approach to homelessness while booting people out of the city is infuriating.

People aren't living in RVs to somehow take advantage and leech off of city services for free, but they are hanging on to some semblance of housing before living in encampments or along the creek, he said. The parking ban would strip away that roof over their head in order to make some homeowners feel more comfortable, but would hardly solve the problem of abject poverty.

"The idea that this is going to clean up the community and make all the homeless go away is absolutely not true," Arnone said.

For opponents of Measure C, one of the most worrying aspects is just how blunt and far-reaching the ordinance was written to be. Every street more narrow than 40 feet would be included in the blanket ban on oversized vehicles, capturing the vast majority of Mountain View's roadways.

But there is also an element of mystery to Measure C in that city staff still do not know, precisely, which streets are included in the ban. A preliminary map released last year showed which streets might be affected (in red), but the city has yet to pull out the measuring tape and decisively say which streets would be deemed narrow.

Lenka Wright, the city's communications officer, said city staff would need to measure the width of about 300 streets that are within the 40-foot range to determine which streets would prohibit oversized vehicles, and that only "field verified" streets will be subject to the ban.

Crisanto Avenue was designed with a 40-foot width, and would likely qualify as a narrow street under the ordinance, Wright said.

The city's safe parking program, while helpful for some, is hardly an adequate solution to the hundreds of vehicle dwellers in Mountain View, Arnone said. Not only are some of those city-operated lots temporary and pending redevelopment, but they require all participants to own a safe, working and insured vehicle. Just from doing anecdotal surveys, Arnone said he believes that close to half of the inhabited RVs are being rented out, some for $800 a month. RV renters are not allowed into the safe parking lots.

Francisco Mendoza holds signs opposing Prop C in English and in Spanish in Mountain View on Oct. 9. Photo by Adam Pardee

Arnone said he believes Measure C's supporters have a fanciful view that case management is somehow a cure for what ails the unhoused living in vehicles. Even if people get into the program, receive services and are gainfully employed, it will be tough for them to find permanent housing they can afford. For many, it simply won't be an option.

"Case management doesn't mean the same thing in Silicon Valley as it means in Fresno. The step from living in an RV to renting an apartment is huge," Arnone said. "It's a fallacy that case management is a solution to affordable housing."

Janet Werkman, another opponent of Measure C, said the beliefs around case management are "tremendously" out of touch with reality. While it is a good tool for those suffering from chronic mental illness or addiction problems who can't manage their own lives, it's shamefully inadequate for people who simply don't have enough money for a home.

"Many people don't fit the model at all, they are working and they are managing their lives. They don't need case management, they need housing," Werkman said. "It's not the same problem."

Mountain View's fair share

Where both sides of Measure C seem to agree is that Mountain View has done much more to help the homeless than neighboring cities. On top of looking the other way with regard to vehicle dwellers, the city's safe parking program now accommodates roughly one-third of all the safe parking spots in Santa Clara County.

On top of that, the city has a cold weather shelter that opened with zero opposition, and has more recently sought to create a transitional housing project with 100 units by the end of the year after being awarded $12.4 million in state Homekey program funds.

To many supporters of Measure C, these are achievements to be proud of, but the city cannot single-handedly solve the problem of homelessness for everyone. Emling said the city should direct money to people living in cars and RVs who have a connection to Mountain View, but that it also has a fiduciary responsibility to cut off the stream of new inhabited vehicles taking up residence in the city from elsewhere.

"It's a regional problem, and other cities need to step up," Emling said. "Because Mountain View is doing way more than their share, and Mountain View is doing it because they care about these people.

"Why does it become our responsibility to take care of the Bay Area?" she asked.

Arnone disputes the idea that Mountain View is a magnet for the homeless -- plenty of other cities are dealing with the same problem -- and said pulling up the drawbridge is the wrong approach. He believes residents, by and large, do not want to be like Los Altos, and would bristle at the idea of taking a "tough love" approach that pushes vulnerable residents away to the Central Valley.

Werkman, who spearheaded the signature gathering effort to block the narrow streets ban, said she believes the supporters of Measure C are few and far between, a "small but very loud and rather belligerent minority" pressing to ban the homeless from living in vehicles. Knocking on hundreds of doors and asking for signatures, she said only a small number seemed to support Measure C.

"We wouldn't have gotten those 5,000 signatures ... if there weren't a lot of people who really did not like what the city was doing by banning RVs," she said.

Werkman said the challenge to Mountain View's historically compassionate approach is partly due to untrue rumors about the homeless. The people living in cars and RVs are not committing crimes at higher rates, nor are they some kind of degenerate underclass that needs to be removed from the community. Now is the time to really get close to the people who are unhoused and learn who they are and what their lives are like, clearing the air and understanding their needs, she said.

"If you are really talking about helping people and bringing down this barrier between the haves and the have-nots, you really need to start desegregating. We need to start dealing with people as if we are part of the same community," Werkman said.

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Measure C: An inflection point in Mountain View's approach to homelessness

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 1:48 pm

This November, Mountain View voters will be faced with a traffic safety measure that has almost nothing to do with traffic safety.

Measure C, in reality, marks a critical juncture in the city's response to homelessness, and will determine whether those who are unhoused and living in RVs will be banned from parking on most city streets. City officials have long held that such a prohibition only makes sense when the homeless have an alternate place to go, leaving voters on Election Day with the challenge of deciding whether that goal has been met.

The pivotal moment has been a long time coming, resulting from five years of back-and-forth over how Mountain View should best address a steady rise in homelessness. The latest count shows the city has more than 600 homeless residents, the most visible of whom live in hundreds of cars and RVs that serve as makeshift homes.

Most of the RVs are clustered along just a handful of city streets, including Crisanto Avenue, which has an estimated 70 inhabited vehicles and has received national attention for being a de facto RV park.

Emerging from the debate is how to best balance compassion for the unhoused against enforcement of parking rules and perceived public safety hazards. For some, it's a question of whether Mountain View has an obligation to do more than neighboring cities to support the homeless. For others, it comes down to a moral question of whether it's right to allow residents to live in vehicles on the street, permitting a lifestyle borne out of desperation.

The emotionally charged issue, traditionally played out at council meetings, is now finally before voters, in the middle of a pandemic. And while it's unlikely to resolve the dispute in its entirety, Measure C's fate will certainly bend the city's approach to homeless RV dwellers that has divided city residents for years.

The path to the ballot box

Measure C can be traced directly back the results of the 2018 election.

Up until then, the City Council was largely unwilling to pass parking restrictions aimed at ousting the homeless. Even a vote to study the idea was rejected.

But multiple council members who rejected the idea were suddenly off the council after the 2018 election. Then-Councilman Ken Rosenberg did not run for reelection, and council members Pat Showalter and Lenny Siegel lost their reelection bids. Fast forward to March 2019, just months after the newly elected members were sworn in, and the council was ready for a citywide ban.

March 2019 was also the moment the oversized vehicle ban went from a homelessness enforcement policy to one about traffic safety. A 2014 court decision found that prohibiting people from living in vehicles is unconstitutional and tantamount to criminalizing homelessness, making similar laws in Palo Alto and Sunnyvale unenforceable.

In order to avoid a lawsuit, city officials pivoted on the language. It was no longer about the homeless, but about banning vehicles that reduce bike safety, parking availability and create "line-of-sight" obstructions.

The council's parking prohibitions were split into two parts, restricting parking for any vehicle that is more than 22 feet long, 7 feet high or 7 feet wide. One ordinance banned oversized vehicles on streets with bike lanes, while the other banned them on any "narrow" street less than 40 feet wide. When it was passed, it was unknown exactly which streets in Mountain View met the "narrow streets" definition.

While the restrictions on streets with bike lanes were uncontested and went into effect last year, the narrow streets ban was immediately challenged. Residents began collecting signatures the day the ordinance passed, seeking a referendum that would force the City Council to reconsider.

The referendum gave the City Council the option to either toss out the ordinance or place it before voters to decide. Council members chose the latter, placing it on the Nov. 3 ballot as Measure C.

An end to unsanctioned housing

Proponents of Measure C argue that public streets should not be used as a place to live, and that allowing de facto RV parks disconnected from basic services has caused a whole host of problems.

Complaints of excessive litter and garbage, leaking RVs, loud generators, unleashed pets and concerns of criminal activity have swirled around the issue of vehicle dwellers for years. Perhaps the most visceral are the reports of dumped raw sewage and discarded human waste.

Shari Emling, one of Measure C's most vocal proponents, said Mountain View's streets were never designed for habitation. On top of problems like sewage dumping, she said she believes there is a small minority of vehicle dwellers that brings a criminal element to these unsanctioned communities.

Emling said the city's loose approach has only attracted more people to live in these inhumane conditions, and that Mountain View's taxpayers are stuck footing the bill for a regional problem.

"Measure C is the most positive thing we can do right now and it's the only way forward," Emling said. "Yes there is a repercussion because certain people will have to move out of town, but that's how it is. We can't solve it for the entire Peninsula anymore."

Supporters of the measure also say the city has accomplished its initial goal, which was to provide an alternative for vehicle dwellers prior to parking enforcement. Mountain View has launched a robust safe parking program that can support more than 100 vehicles, most of them RVs, and recent reports show the program is close to capacity with a slim waiting list.

To Emling, that's a signal that anyone who wants help from the city -- including a safe, designated place to park with case management services -- can get it, and the remaining vehicle dwellers that decline to participate must move elsewhere.

"They have to want the help," she said. "There are a lot of people living on the street who don't want safe housing, they will not answer their door or they actually say they want to live on the street. We can't help those people."

Some of the complaints are anecdotal and difficult to substantiate. For sewage dumping, city officials said it's hard to pinpoint trends due to big fluctuations and evolving efforts to collect data. The city reported an average of 11 incidents of illegal waste dumping per quarter between July and December 2017, but only one in the first quarter of 2018.

Proponents of Measure C point to a 2018 quote from police spokeswoman Katie Nelson, who told media outlets that many of the RVs are leaking sewage into the street or outright dumping it into grass areas and in gutters.

Last year, Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga told an ABC7 reporter that gang violence was also a problem among people living in RVs. At the time, police Chief Max Bosel said there have been some instances of gang-related arrests, but there is "no evidence that suggests people living in vehicles are any more or less likely to commit crimes."

A call for compassion

To Mountain View resident Dave Arnone, many of the arguments in favor of Measure C ring hollow. To call it a traffic safety measure is disingenuous, he said, but to call it a compassionate approach to homelessness while booting people out of the city is infuriating.

People aren't living in RVs to somehow take advantage and leech off of city services for free, but they are hanging on to some semblance of housing before living in encampments or along the creek, he said. The parking ban would strip away that roof over their head in order to make some homeowners feel more comfortable, but would hardly solve the problem of abject poverty.

"The idea that this is going to clean up the community and make all the homeless go away is absolutely not true," Arnone said.

For opponents of Measure C, one of the most worrying aspects is just how blunt and far-reaching the ordinance was written to be. Every street more narrow than 40 feet would be included in the blanket ban on oversized vehicles, capturing the vast majority of Mountain View's roadways.

But there is also an element of mystery to Measure C in that city staff still do not know, precisely, which streets are included in the ban. A preliminary map released last year showed which streets might be affected (in red), but the city has yet to pull out the measuring tape and decisively say which streets would be deemed narrow.

Lenka Wright, the city's communications officer, said city staff would need to measure the width of about 300 streets that are within the 40-foot range to determine which streets would prohibit oversized vehicles, and that only "field verified" streets will be subject to the ban.

Crisanto Avenue was designed with a 40-foot width, and would likely qualify as a narrow street under the ordinance, Wright said.

The city's safe parking program, while helpful for some, is hardly an adequate solution to the hundreds of vehicle dwellers in Mountain View, Arnone said. Not only are some of those city-operated lots temporary and pending redevelopment, but they require all participants to own a safe, working and insured vehicle. Just from doing anecdotal surveys, Arnone said he believes that close to half of the inhabited RVs are being rented out, some for $800 a month. RV renters are not allowed into the safe parking lots.

Arnone said he believes Measure C's supporters have a fanciful view that case management is somehow a cure for what ails the unhoused living in vehicles. Even if people get into the program, receive services and are gainfully employed, it will be tough for them to find permanent housing they can afford. For many, it simply won't be an option.

"Case management doesn't mean the same thing in Silicon Valley as it means in Fresno. The step from living in an RV to renting an apartment is huge," Arnone said. "It's a fallacy that case management is a solution to affordable housing."

Janet Werkman, another opponent of Measure C, said the beliefs around case management are "tremendously" out of touch with reality. While it is a good tool for those suffering from chronic mental illness or addiction problems who can't manage their own lives, it's shamefully inadequate for people who simply don't have enough money for a home.

"Many people don't fit the model at all, they are working and they are managing their lives. They don't need case management, they need housing," Werkman said. "It's not the same problem."

Mountain View's fair share

Where both sides of Measure C seem to agree is that Mountain View has done much more to help the homeless than neighboring cities. On top of looking the other way with regard to vehicle dwellers, the city's safe parking program now accommodates roughly one-third of all the safe parking spots in Santa Clara County.

On top of that, the city has a cold weather shelter that opened with zero opposition, and has more recently sought to create a transitional housing project with 100 units by the end of the year after being awarded $12.4 million in state Homekey program funds.

To many supporters of Measure C, these are achievements to be proud of, but the city cannot single-handedly solve the problem of homelessness for everyone. Emling said the city should direct money to people living in cars and RVs who have a connection to Mountain View, but that it also has a fiduciary responsibility to cut off the stream of new inhabited vehicles taking up residence in the city from elsewhere.

"It's a regional problem, and other cities need to step up," Emling said. "Because Mountain View is doing way more than their share, and Mountain View is doing it because they care about these people.

"Why does it become our responsibility to take care of the Bay Area?" she asked.

Arnone disputes the idea that Mountain View is a magnet for the homeless -- plenty of other cities are dealing with the same problem -- and said pulling up the drawbridge is the wrong approach. He believes residents, by and large, do not want to be like Los Altos, and would bristle at the idea of taking a "tough love" approach that pushes vulnerable residents away to the Central Valley.

Werkman, who spearheaded the signature gathering effort to block the narrow streets ban, said she believes the supporters of Measure C are few and far between, a "small but very loud and rather belligerent minority" pressing to ban the homeless from living in vehicles. Knocking on hundreds of doors and asking for signatures, she said only a small number seemed to support Measure C.

"We wouldn't have gotten those 5,000 signatures ... if there weren't a lot of people who really did not like what the city was doing by banning RVs," she said.

Werkman said the challenge to Mountain View's historically compassionate approach is partly due to untrue rumors about the homeless. The people living in cars and RVs are not committing crimes at higher rates, nor are they some kind of degenerate underclass that needs to be removed from the community. Now is the time to really get close to the people who are unhoused and learn who they are and what their lives are like, clearing the air and understanding their needs, she said.

"If you are really talking about helping people and bringing down this barrier between the haves and the have-nots, you really need to start desegregating. We need to start dealing with people as if we are part of the same community," Werkman said.

Comments

Peter
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 2:07 pm
Peter, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 2:07 pm
472 people like this

Yes on Measure C! We have enough safe parking areas for a City of our size and it’s time to share the load with other cities. Other cities send their RV dwellers here because we don’t enforce the code. If we don’t vote YES, we will have RVs on ever street in Mountain View. Enough is enough!


Gary
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 2:14 pm
Gary, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 2:14 pm
547 people like this

Wow. Great article.


SC Parent
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 2:38 pm
SC Parent, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 2:38 pm
462 people like this

"small but very loud and rather belligerent minority".
I don't think I'm loud or belligerent. We'll find out if I'm part of a small group in a few weeks.

While a long article that is generally well-written, it's important to note that Kevin does not present an unbiased viewpoint. The opposition to Measure C has tried to label this a "ban" and this article uses that word 18 times in this article. "Safe" is only used 3 times (other than referring to the safe parking program, which has plenty of capacity) and typically in the context of "perceived safety hazards." That's not unbiased journalism.

I DON'T want to kick people out of Mountain View. I DO want my kids to be able to ride their bikes safely around the neighborhood. I DO want to be able to safely drive to In-N-Out without being blindsided. And I DO want to continue to provide resources and services to help residents transition out of RVs and into a stable housing situation. That's why what Measure C does.


Polomom
Registered user
Waverly Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 3:47 pm
Polomom, Waverly Park
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 3:47 pm
9 people like this

@Kevin, great article, one item should have been included: How many Safe Lot participants have already left the RVs and been housed in transitional housing. This number would be good to know. I heard a number, but I am sure you can find this out easy! There is success in our city efforts!


Polomom
Registered user
Waverly Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Polomom, Waverly Park
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 4:00 pm
296 people like this

@Werkman: I do not consider myself belligerent. 5 Years ago I started looking to other West Coast cities with far more vehicle dwellers and their solutions. These cities avoided any of this time consuming costly lobbying for and against oversized parking restriction and they are handling their unhoused in balance with the rest of the population. All residents have to follow the same motor vehicle code, nobody accuses anybody of discriminating against the poor. The council before the current one did nothing but talk about RV residents. San Diego and Santa Barbara were discussed in great detail, but that was it. No action. Unfortunately MV did not follow their example and the current council finally took the initiative to help our unhoused vehicle dwellers. There is finally an effort to get people into the system and off the streets. Vote Yes on Measure C. If it fails, we will have box trucks, Semis, trailers, boats and our RVs scattered in our city everywhere. Even on streets with weight restrictions. Boats, trailer qualify.....


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2020 at 5:06 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 5:06 pm
494 people like this

In response to Polomom you wrote:

“San Diego and Santa Barbara were discussed in great detail, but that was it. No action. Unfortunately MV did not follow their example and the current council finally took the initiative to help our unhoused vehicle dwellers. There is finally an effort to get people into the system and off the streets. Vote Yes on Measure C. If it fails, we will have box trucks, Semis, trailers, boats and our RVs scattered in our city everywhere. Even on streets with weight restrictions. Boats, trailer qualify.....”

Now this seems to be a stretch, and maybe in a lot of cases the TRUCKS are the vehicles used for a “Small Business” owner living in the apartment, your assuming it is a “makeshift” home. Boats are the same, my next door neighbor owns a boat.

Too much selling to the “fears” of the voters and not much real evidence. That’s all


Polomom
Registered user
Waverly Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 6:03 pm
Polomom, Waverly Park
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 6:03 pm
228 people like this

Steven Goldstein take a drive to Continental Circle, dump trucks, box vans, cabs of semis, you name it it parked right across the Americana Apartments. Not made up, evidence has been there for at least 5 years. This is a residential area. People are paying high rents to have the view of a truck stop.


Longview
Registered user
another community
on Oct 15, 2020 at 6:15 pm
Longview, another community
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 6:15 pm
370 people like this

There is a middle ground that gets overlooked but is important. There are locations where parked RVs have a very low impact. Few school children bike to school past the storage units on Leghorn. Many school children (before covid!) bike on residential streets to school. The answer is to find streets where RVs CAN park with little impact. There is enough space and variety of locations to address legitimate concerns about the use of city streets, without a citywide ban on RVs.
Vote No on C, and then push the next Council to find the win win solution. An RV ban is not the right answer.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2020 at 6:17 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 6:17 pm
340 people like this

In response to Polomom you said:

“Steven Goldstein take a drive to Continental Circle, dump trucks, box vans, cabs of semis, you name it it parked right across the Americana Apartments.”

But you are not demonstrating that they may be vehicles used by the people who live there. Your simply trying to mak a claim with not evidence. Please present some kind of REAL proof that this is somehow something illegal? As long as these people registered their vehicles with the Mountain View Police Department and paid the fees to have a permit, which is the current laws, you have nothing to lodge a complaint about. You said:

“Not made up, evidence has been there for at least 5 years. This is a residential area. People are paying high rents to have the view of a truck stop.”

This is the real issue for you, that the current rents are crashing in Mountain View and the property values accordingly. BUT there is NO EVIDENCE to suggest that the parking on the streets have any bearing on this. In fact legally it has NONE. It is PUBLIC property. To me you’re just saying “I DON’T LIKE IT.” These streets are PUBLIC property any you know it, you have no standing to cause a hysteria simply because you don’t like it. In effect your trying to annex public property into private property.


Randy Guelph
Registered user
Cuernavaca
on Oct 15, 2020 at 6:50 pm
Randy Guelph, Cuernavaca
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 6:50 pm
166 people like this

It's impressive how if you let the Measure C proponents expand on their support of the measure, they very quickly forget that the pretext for the measure is traffic safety. You let any of them talk for more than a few sentences, and they quickly give away the game that it is meant to target the poor and undesirables in Mountain View. See Polomom above: "People are paying high rents to have the view of a truck stop."


Janet Werkman
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2020 at 7:04 pm
Janet Werkman, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 7:04 pm
13 people like this

This comment is for SC Parent, Polomom, and any other readers I offended with my ill-chosen words. Please accept my apology. I am quoted as saying that Measure C supporters are a small group of loud and belligerent people, which is not what I intended to say and not what I believe. I was referring to a few angry, hostile comments about people living in RVs. What I was trying to say is that I have encountered only a small number of people who express real hostility. The great majority of people I have spoken with are thoughtful and many are supportive. I respect your reasons for disagreeing with me on this difficult problem. My hope has always been to have courteous discussions that value everyone's concerns and that can help us come up with better solutions. I am sincerely sorry that my careless language has had the opposite effect. Although it doesn't come through in this article, I share many of your concerns and I agree that some action should be taken by the City. I am also troubled by the sight of people living on the street and believe that we should focus on the goal of housing for everyone in the community. I hope our differences over this issue doesn't get in the way of working together on issues that are far more important. Janet Werkman


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2020 at 7:12 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 7:12 pm
158 people like this

In respopnse to Randy Guelph you wrote:

“It's impressive how if you let the Measure C proponents expand on their support of the measure, they very quickly forget that the pretext for the measure is traffic safety. You let any of them talk for more than a few sentences, and they quickly give away the game that it is meant to target the poor and undesirables in Mountain View. See Polomom above: "People are paying high rents to have the view of a truck stop.”

In a court of law where the cases have prepared evidence and established the required “Due Process” standards prior to the court cases, this practice would be subject to a an “OBJECTION” based on “ASSUMING FACTS NOT IN EVIDENCE”

In California it is defined as:

“- A question by the directing attorney that contains information not yet in the record. On cross, the counsel is the one testifying, so this is not an objection.”

The fact is when the original argument fails in politics, the proponents will try ANY means necessary to con voters to vote for THEIR side. But since in the Ballot information, this evidence was never presented or argued, this change should be ignored by the voters, but it is up to them to make the decision.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 16, 2020 at 7:33 am
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 16, 2020 at 7:33 am
6 people like this

[Post removed due to being off-topic]


Tal Shaya
Registered user
another community
on Oct 16, 2020 at 8:13 am
Tal Shaya, another community
Registered user
on Oct 16, 2020 at 8:13 am
27 people like this

When you turn Mountain View into a free parking lot, people will come from all over the county, the state, and the country ... just to park on Mountain View streets. You're not serving the community that way. I know. I was homeless for years. But I never camped in someone's front yard. That is just not cool.


Steven Nelson
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Oct 16, 2020 at 1:45 pm
Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Oct 16, 2020 at 1:45 pm
37 people like this

NO on Measure C
NO Camping
homeless
NO Car
homeless

Neither Car camping by the homeless (Federal court case link in the article) or Camping in tents on public property by the homeless is illegal. No C.

Have you noticed while Cupertino, San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland all have lots of Camping homeless, Mountain View doesn't? I have noticed that. So which is more compassionate - force homeless into car camping - or leave them for now in RVs (with increasingly better and more assistance program spaces). Or force them into public street area camping? You like all those public political sign corners - Imagine them filled with Camping homeless tents.

Ot think of the public spaces along the sides of streets like Shoreline - what a great place for a Camping homeless village!

Camping in your car - in front of Abe-Kona's, Manichak's, or Gutierrez homes is NOT ILLEGAL and Measure C will not make it ILLEGAL! The homeless have a right to existence! Even the Federal court agrees!


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 16, 2020 at 2:18 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 16, 2020 at 2:18 pm
32 people like this

In response to Tal Shaya you wrote:

“When you turn Mountain View into a free parking lot, people will come from all over the county, the state, and the country ... just to park on Mountain View streets. You're not serving the community that way. I know. I was homeless for years. But I never camped in someone's front yard. That is just not cool.”

WOW talking about a DISASTER movie plot.

By the way I know you are a Star Trek fan, you used a Vulcan Martial Arts name as a anonymous poster, Memory Alpha has it in its database here (Web Link) and it says:

“in:
Martial arts, Vulcan language

Tal-shaya

English

EDIT

SHARE

The tal-shaya was a deadly Vulcan martial arts technique that was considered a merciful form of execution in ancient times on Vulcan. This precise technique was performed by applying pressure to the victim's neck, causing it to snap instantly.

In 2268, during his journey to the Babel Conference aboard the USS Enterprise, Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan was considered to be the logical suspect in the murder of Ambassador Gav, who had been killed by means of the tal-shaya. Sarek was later found to be innocent when the real assassin was discovered. (TOS: "Journey to Babel")”

So you want to be an instrument of death based on your “logical” conclusions? Maybe this was a bad idea?


Lenny Siegel
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2020 at 9:49 am
Lenny Siegel, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 17, 2020 at 9:49 am
7 people like this

Tune in to KQED Forum at 9:20 am Tuesday, October 20, for a discussion of Measure C.


Mark Ruzon
Registered user
Rex Manor
on Oct 17, 2020 at 2:30 pm
Mark Ruzon, Rex Manor
Registered user
on Oct 17, 2020 at 2:30 pm
7 people like this

The Measure C slogan is "Safe Streets for All," but it should read "Safe Streets for All Who We Deem Worthy of Living in Mountain View." Measure C will kick many poor people out of Mountain View. Is that what we want to be known for? Does anyone want to tell their grandchildren, "Back in my day, a whole bunch of poor people who couldn't afford to rent an apartment tried to live in campers on the street. Even though it was in the middle of a global pandemic, we stood tall, stood our ground, and voted all those people out of town!"

Kicking poor people when they're down because they're poor is cruel. These people found an innovative solution to avoid homelessness, and now we're trying to take even that away. Vote NO on C. You'll know you made the moral choice.


Polomom
Registered user
Waverly Park
on Oct 17, 2020 at 4:49 pm
Polomom, Waverly Park
Registered user
on Oct 17, 2020 at 4:49 pm
2 people like this

Web Link
This is the same Dave Arnone that wrote the rebuttal in the 2020 voter pamphlet
The same Dave Arnone that frequently writes for the Voice ( anti D and anti C)
The same Dave Arnone that is the treasurer for the Safe Lots program. How can such a strong opponent handle the Safe Lot finances?

@Mark Ruzon: Nobody is voting anybody out of town. With 75 parking spots and 100 housing spots 2020 is actually the year to get people connected to city services, out of homelessness. People with innovative cost saving plans should not be subsidized by MV tax payers.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2020 at 5:58 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 17, 2020 at 5:58 pm
20 people like this

Polomom,

You say there are adequate numbers to accommodate ALL the RVs in the city? I would like you to then explain why all of them are not in a "safe lot" like you claim they are?

In so far as RVs are SUBSIDIZED by the City? You know that is a complete deception.

The RVs actually prior to the City Council changes paid a fee to the Police Department to have a REGISTERED RV under the previous law.

The City does not pay anything to an RV. They do get proper city services like police and fire protection as a resident of the city. BUT since they reside here, pay sales taxes for all services in the area, they are paying for those services.

Now a good question would be how many have children? I don't know. But that should be figured out. If they do not have children they do not use public education. They do not use public utilities because they do not hook up to the water or sewage system, and also have their own heat or electrical supplies.

So they may be paying for the services they receive, and they get NO SUBSIDIES of ANY KIND.

Nice try.


Sylvan Park Resident
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Oct 19, 2020 at 7:48 pm
Sylvan Park Resident, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2020 at 7:48 pm
7 people like this

Allowing families to live on the streets is inhumane, apparently it makes some people feel compassionate to say it is OK but it is not. Allowing disreputable individuals to rent decrepit RVs to needy families is truly despicable. That is what is happening but the real story is distorted by opponents of Measure C. I guess it makes them feel like they are helping people, nobody wants to live this way.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 19, 2020 at 8:38 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2020 at 8:38 pm
44 people like this

In response to Sylvan Park Resident you wrote:

“Allowing families to live on the streets is inhumane, apparently it makes some people feel compassionate to say it is OK but it is not. Allowing disreputable individuals to rent decrepit RVs to needy families is truly despicable.”

This sounds like a Donald Trump argument, when he said:

““When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.””

Lets rephrase it to this subject:

When RVs with their people are in the city of Mountain View, The RV residents are not sending their best. The RV residents are not sending you. The RV residents are not sending you. The RV residents are sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. The RV residents are bringing drugs. The RV residents are bringing crime. The RV residents are rapists. And some The RV residents are, I assume, are good people.”

This is the claim the Pro Measure C people are using, they claim that anyone with an RV are “disreputable” Talking about simple extreme discrimination here. You wrote:

“That is what is happening but the real story is distorted by opponents of Measure C. I guess it makes them feel like they are helping people, nobody wants to live this way.”

I agree, but the real world with the lack of affordable housing and unreliable Tech work being done by contractors where they get work for less than 6 months, makes this necessary.

Maybe you should be telling Goggle to stop using contractors and only give them any “gifts” where they start only using full time employees?


Cindy Lane
Registered user
The Crossings
on Oct 19, 2020 at 8:47 pm
Cindy Lane, The Crossings
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2020 at 8:47 pm
2 people like this

SylvanParkResident, let's consider the people you claim to have compassion for. The choice presented to us in this election is whether or not we should fine them and seize their homes. Full stop. Measure C ties none of this to funding for services, safe lots, or any of the programs. All it does is make it illegal and begin enforcement. For all the proponents' talk about compassion and how no one should have to live on the streets, what they've offered us is to sweep these people away without any regard for where they end up.

I would disagree with them, but I could respect the proponents if they were up front about what they want to do. What's truly sickening is how they've tried to pretend that they have compassion for the people in these vehicles while this Measure provides no such thing. Those aren't Mountain View values.


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