A comprehensive approach to addressing homelessness | April 5, 2019 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

Opinion - April 5, 2019

A comprehensive approach to addressing homelessness

by Margaret Abe-Koga and Lucas Ramirez

Our city struggles with many regional challenges, and homelessness is among the most complex and difficult to solve. Over the past three years, the Mountain View City Council has taken a compassionate approach, implementing a three-pronged strategy to address this issue: providing emergency assistance to the unstably housed in the short term, increasing housing supply in the long term, and responding to public health and safety concerns through outreach and enforcement.

This story contains 564 words.

Stories older than 90 days are available only to subscribing members. Please help sustain quality local journalism by becoming a subscribing member today.

If you are already a subscriber, please log in so you can continue to enjoy unlimited access to stories and archives. Subscriptions start at $5 per month and may be cancelled at any time.

Log in     Subscribe


6 people like this
Posted by Lenny Siegel
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 5, 2019 at 10:38 am

Lenny Siegel is a registered user.

This column is seriously misleading. Until this March 19, the Mountain View City Council had taken a compassionate approach to homelessness and particularly our vehicle households. However, on that night the Council majority, including the two authors of this column, directed city staff to come back - it’s now scheduled for June - with an ordinance to outlaw oversized vehicle residency on our streets at time where there is no possibility that off-street safe parking will provide spaces for even a small fraction of the roughly 300 such vehicles. The column soft-pedals the ban, stating that the City will "increase enforcement efforts, including oversized vehicle parking prohibitions, to address public health and safety concerns.” The City already limits parking where there are health and safety concerns. The new ordinance, if adopted, will ban almost all on-street oversized vehicle residency.

The authors also say that Mountain View is developing an ordinance to expand Mountain View’s fledgling safe parking program. In fact, they have directed staff to propose a program in which the city would temporarily provide a fraction of the spaces necessary and only for the period in which the ban is being implemented. Most cities with “safe parking” provide off-street opportunities on an ongoing basis.

There is a small chance that the Council majority will step back from its Draconian proposal in June. But as a community we need to prepare for a referendum to block the ban. The city’s non-scientific survey showed that a minority of respondents favor any type of parking restriction, and my discussions with dozens of voters suggest that people want a solution to our homelessness crisis, not a ban.

It’s time to stand up to the intolerant few who blame vehicle residents for a wide range of problems, such as gang violence, rather than recognizing that people are living on the streets because the cost of housing here is too damn high.


10 people like this
Posted by Jeff Grafton
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2019 at 12:28 pm

Jeff Grafton is a registered user.

> Mountain View cannot solve this issue on its own. We need a regional approach, with all cities providing shelter and safe parking opportunities, offering services and programs, and increasing housing supply.

I'm glad that Vice Mayor Abe-Koga and Councilmember Ramirez recognize that we need a regional solution to the housing crisis. I hope they will publicly support SB 50, which would ensure that every city does its part to build more homes, all while protecting existing tenants and vulnerable communities.

54 people like this
Posted by @Lenny Siegel
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 5, 2019 at 7:03 pm

Dear Voted out incumbent-former council member Siegel,

I believe I am in the majority in our city who oppose a break down in our societal order that you are in favor of.

Everyone knows that you where in favor of expanding RV parking to more streets and using the parking lots at Shoreline.

Now you are threatening to bring a ballot measure to over turn any law that the council should pass to ban oversize vehicles. I say bring it on. It will further show how out of touch you are in our city.

As we now know, other cities, like the PD in Sunnyvale, have been telling their homeless population to go to Mountain View. We are now a dumping ground for our neighboring cities for their homeless population.

RV's are just the first step in this break down. Then you will have tent cities, then you will have people sleeping in doorways, then needles and fecal matter will be everywhere causing diseases to be spread by rats, just like in Southern California.

We do not want this break down to happen to our city. It is a shame that you can not see the harm that your ideas have already brought to other cities. We do not want them here.

You keep bringing up John Inks being last in the last elections, you where 2nd to last. His idea of banning RV living had nothing to do with his loss. It was the negative press that the Voice was giving him, and people like your long time friend Job Lopez, who was writing nasty graffiti on Ink's political signs that many people drew a negative opinion of Inks. He was by far a better council member than you ever where. You have a condescending view of everyone who does not agree with you and only you believe that you are right.

It is time that people stand up and tell these few loud people that you do not speak for me and that NO, we do not like your ideas and we do not want to turn Mountain View into the South Bay city of Berkley, as you have stated.

27 people like this
Posted by Bob Lopez
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 6, 2019 at 5:20 pm

Speaking of Job Lopez, he pleaded no contest to the pending charges. Guilty as charged. Of course you’d have to go read about in the Palo Alto Daily Post because the Voice is bought and paid for by the pro-tenant group.

40 people like this
Posted by @Lenny Siegel
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 7, 2019 at 1:36 pm

@Bob Lopez,

Yes sir, "Rent control activist gets probation for vandalizing campaign sign"

I get my news from the Palo Alto Daily Post, online. The Voice is nothing but an Opinion paper now. They just like to censor and block people from telling the truth that goes against their narrative that they want the people to have. Watch how fast they will delete my post now, yet they let people from the Mountain View Tenants coalition smears others, like "LOL" repeatedly does.

Link to Job's article in a real news paper.
Web Link

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

All your news. All in one place. Every day.


Support local families in need

Your contribution to the Holiday Fund will go directly to nonprofits supporting local families and children in need. Last year, Voice readers and the Wakerly, Packard and Hewlett foundations contributed a total of $72,000.