In March 2015, Cynthia Ward – now a candidate for mayor of Anaheim – wrote a long, rambling blog post on homelessness calling for creation of a tent city for the homeless on the site of the old Carl Karcher Enterprises site at the 91 Freeway and Carl Karcher Way.
Ward favored siting a homeless shelter there instead of Kraemer Place, where the Bridges at Kraemer Shelter was eventually established. She even proposed the city establish a tent city on the Karcher site as an interim step:
As an interim solution the site could even be developed into a campsite that provides showers, toilets, secure storage for possessions, and a central location for social service programs to help get someone into a permanent program and off the streets, while offering a place to simply exist without harassment.
We need to offer people a place to simply exist and BE without harassment until resources become available. So I STILL propose that the Karcher site be made into an appropriate camping facility, one that is kept clean, with rules about fighting/drug use which is likely to need a non-profit running it with a trailer and onsite management, and some form of check-in to prevent predators from being housed in close proximity to GOALS and homes.
Ward’s response to residents who object to homeless shelters next to their neighborhoods was to compare them racists:
In fact we hear claims such as “I don’t want this built because homeless people will be in the neighborhood now” and I challenge you to replace “homeless” with any other identifier for our fellow human beings. Go ahead and say it out loud and tell me what YOU think it sounds like to say, “I don’t want that built because BLACK people will live here.” “Latinos?” We would NEVER…so why is singling out the economically disadvantaged acceptable?
Item 27 features a Staff Report I have had to re-read repeatedly in order to understand that both the City of Anaheim and at least one County Supervisor (Spitzer) aided by a Fullerton City Council member, really are serious about drafting official governmental policy rooted in absolute bold-faced bigotry against an entire class of American citizens, based on nothing but their economic status.
Feel free to scrutinize the staff report in question for evidence of Ward’s claimed “bold-faced bigotry” against the homeless. Good luck finding any.
The would-be mayor of Anaheim also buys into the progressive-Left canard that enforcing anti-vagrancy laws is tantamount to “criminalizing” homelessness:
CRIMINALIZED FOR SIMPLY EXISTING AMONG US
Anaheim tells us our Police department is being trained to help the homeless, and I am sure many of our law enforcement professionals work very hard to do so. But there are SOME on the force who have been videotaped harassing the homeless, simply for being HOMELESS.
They are sitting in parks, minding their own business, not “camping” with a tent, not dropping trash, taking drugs, threatening anyone, and their belongings have been reduced to the equivalent that a young mother might bring to the park as support supplies for her brood of youngsters, with diapers and wipes and juice boxes etc.
We have criminalized not only the illegal activities that are sometimes committed by the homeless, (and not homeless) we have criminalized homelessness itself. We have labeled an entire population of Americans as less than human who lack the basic right to even EXIST in our community. This is so prevalent that a County Supervisor wishes to move the population to an industrial park as though a homeless shelter is nothing more than a trash sorting facility!
This rant could have come from the mouths of Mike and Jeannine Robbins, who don’t hesitate to demonize those who disagree with their prescriptions for homelessness. It would certainly be interesting reading for Anaheim voters, especially those in West Anaheim, to know they espouse “criminalizing the homeless for simply existing” – at least in the eyes of Cynthia Ward.
Ward expands on her theme that locating the county homeless shelter in a commercial/industrial park is equivalent to denigrating the homeless as trash:
Do we all understand what we put into “Industrial” Zones? We place the land uses that we find undesirable, either the sight or smell or noise of some necessary but uncomfortable activity needs somewhere to go, but we don’t want it near our homes or office space.
She then goes on to state the homeless should be granted “protected class” status:
In short, “the homeless” represent a population of American citizens that should by all rights be classified as a protected class, as they are the most vulnerable population present in society today.
A protected class is a group of people given special legal status and protection against discrimination. Federal protected classes include: sex, race, age, disability, color, creed, national origin, religion, or genetic information. Homeless advocates who have sued to prevent the clearing of the Santa Ana River Trail encampment or seeking to prevent the enforcement of anti-camping laws have resorts to claiming the plaintiffs are being discriminated against n the basis of disabilities – which is expansively defined under federal law.
Imagine the litigation mischief homeless advocates would engage in if Cynthia Ward got her wish and being homeless was a protected class. Radical lawyers like Brooke Weitzman would argue the homeless have an inherent right to live anywhere they please – with the full material support of taxpayers – and use “protected status” as a litigation bazooka to blast away government actions to the contrary.
Homelessness is a top issue with Anaheim voters. Cynthia Ward wrote these words only three years ago. They might want to weigh her views, temperament and judgement on this issue against their own.