Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona
Protesters from Occupy Tucson packed the meeting and testified for hours. They pleaded with the Mayor and Council to intervene with the Tucson Police Department to stop against the $1000/night fines against the Occupiers and to intervene with the Parks and Recreation Department to end the $150/night camping permits (the biggest camping permit I know of) and the requirement for insurance.
No decisions on these items could be made last week because these issues were not officially on the agenda.
These issues are still not on the agenda for tonight’s Mayor and Council meeting. Instead, they are flagged as an executive session item on the study session agenda. In addition to not dealing with the Occupation in public today– unless, of course, Occupiers speak at the call to audience again– the Mayor and Council are not scheduled to have another open meeting until Wednesday, November 9 (after the election).
Also of interest to the 99% and also on today’s study session agenda is a follow-up to a 2007 report on Poverty and Urban Stress in Tucson. This is an excellent report conducted by former Councilman Steve Leal; unfortunately, after he retired, the report was shelved– until a few of us rabble-rousers (including Leal) started making noise about it. Watch for more on this.
Poverty, homelessness, and unemployment are out of control in our city, but if you listen to the Democratic and Republican mayoral and city council candidates, you’d think the biggest issues facing our city were development-related fees and the self-perceived hassles developers have when dealing with the city’s bureaucracy. (Give me a break.)
It’s time for our elected officials to open their eyes and look around. Maybe they should be talking with the 99%– instead of holed up behind closed doors with attorneys, current and former law enforcement (ie, our new city manager), and other bureaucrats.
UPDATE: The Occupiers are going to march from Armory Park to the City Council Meeting later today. The march begins at 4:30 p.m. The City Council Meeting begins at 5:30.
According to Occupy Tucson’s facebook page, 259 citations have been issued in the 10 days since the Occupation began. There are 50 tents at Armory Park, but that number should swell this weekend with the planned Family and Friends Campout on Friday, October 28.
UPDATE 2: For moving Occupy Tucson testimony from the 2 City Council meetings were no action was taken by the Council on the issue of park permits and citations, check out these links. Particularly moving is the homeless man at the beginning of part 2 of the October 25 meeting.