Friday, April 15, 2016

Discrimination is Never Okay

Seven months ago I wrote a post called The Segregation of Our Downtown.  If you read it you may remember it, if you didn't please check it out... Or just read on.
The measure to ban social services from our downtown, Measure U, will be on our June ballot.

After two tries to get the 313 signatures necessary the  "Concerned Citizens of Fort Bragg got their discriminatory measure on the ballot.  They are now campaigning for it.  Please be aware, the people that are part of this group are ignoring reality and the facts, and are flat out lying about what this measure will do.

They claim :  "The project in the Old Coast Hotel was put there after January 1, 2015 and will be required to move."
In reality: This measure will not force the project out of the Old Coast.
First, it's not permitted in California State law to retroactively zone, or make an existing land use illegal.  It becomes “legal non-conforming.”
The second issue is transitional housing.  They have made such a poorly written measure that it can't even do what they intend.  Transitional housing is not affected by the measure.   It says that right in the measure.  (In the last bold paragraph and the last sentence it says this does not include transitional housing.) Some services offered at the Old Coast may be affected, but transitional housing will stay.

They claim: "This will not affect the social service businesses that we already have in the CBD." 
It will. Even if a social service business was in their downtown space before 2015. If the law passes they will become classified as "non-conforming."  They will not be able to move, or expand with in the CBD. 
How many businesses never need to move or expand?  In the past two months, four businesses have moved locations to or from Laurel Street alone.

They claim "Measure U is a Non- Discriminatory Zoning Change."  
Well, if you have to qualify your measure specifically as "non-discriminatory" clearly you've done something wrong.  The measure blatantly discriminates against a certain "kind" of person (specifically those who are living in poverty, homeless, disabled, or mentally ill), and says not only to these social service businesses but also to anyone who utilizes social services, "you are not welcome here."   This is discriminatory.  This is segregation. This is a Civil Rights issue.

The latest un-truth is this: "The organizations who moved in after January 2015 knew Measure U was going on the ballot and chose to gamble."
As you can see the date on my blog post linked above is September 8, 2015. Their claim that anyone "knew" their horrible initiative would be on the ballot is a false claim. They didn't even get all the required signatures turned in until the end of 2015.

I can not stand by and watch our town become a part of the hatred and discrimination that's happening on at a national level. We are better than that.  We need to continue to work at making Fort Bragg a place we are proud of.  A town that helps people.  We need to continue supporting all of the wonderful social service businesses we have in our community and we need to welcome them into our public spaces.  The people who use these services are part of our community.  How can we include them in our community and support them while also discriminating against them?

Please, spread the word. Educate your friends and family, vote NO on Measure U.  It is Unnecessary Unenforceable and Unjust.

The No on U campaign is being lead by leaders from within our social service community.
Like their Facebook page for updates.
If you want to help reach out to them.  You can email them at .
If you would like to make a donation to the No on U Campaign any small amount helps.
You can make donations for $99 or less  payable to: "SSA-AMU" (Social Service Alliance Against Measure U) and mail to :
Social Services Alliance
305 E. Redwood Ave
Fort Bragg, CA 95437

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