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

Original post made on Oct 15, 2020

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.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 15, 2020, 1:48 PM

Comments (23)

472 people like this
Posted by Peter
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 2:07 pm

Peter is a registered user.

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!


547 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 2:14 pm

Gary is a registered user.

Wow. Great article.


462 people like this
Posted by SC Parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 2:38 pm

SC Parent is a registered user.

"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.


9 people like this
Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 3:47 pm

Polomom is a registered user.

@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!


296 people like this
Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 4:00 pm

Polomom is a registered user.

@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.....


494 people like this
Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2020 at 5:06 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

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


228 people like this
Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 6:03 pm

Polomom is a registered user.

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.


370 people like this
Posted by Longview
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2020 at 6:15 pm

Longview is a registered user.

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.


340 people like this
Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2020 at 6:17 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

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.


166 people like this
Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Oct 15, 2020 at 6:50 pm

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

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."


13 people like this
Posted by Janet Werkman
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2020 at 7:04 pm

Janet Werkman is a registered user.

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


158 people like this
Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2020 at 7:12 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

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.


6 people like this
Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 16, 2020 at 7:33 am

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

[Post removed due to being off-topic]


27 people like this
Posted by Tal Shaya
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2020 at 8:13 am

Tal Shaya is a registered user.

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.


37 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 16, 2020 at 1:45 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

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!


32 people like this
Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 16, 2020 at 2:18 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

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?


7 people like this
Posted by Lenny Siegel
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2020 at 9:49 am

Lenny Siegel is a registered user.

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


7 people like this
Posted by Mark Ruzon
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 17, 2020 at 2:30 pm

Mark Ruzon is a registered user.

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.


2 people like this
Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 17, 2020 at 4:49 pm

Polomom is a registered user.

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.


20 people like this
Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2020 at 5:58 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

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.


7 people like this
Posted by Sylvan Park Resident
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 19, 2020 at 7:48 pm

Sylvan Park Resident is a registered user.

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.


44 people like this
Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 19, 2020 at 8:38 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

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?


2 people like this
Posted by Cindy Lane
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 19, 2020 at 8:47 pm

Cindy Lane is a registered user.

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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