Last week we wrote to you about how proud and excited all of us are to have The Right to Rest bill active in three states at the same time in 2017. We wrote about the time and energy everyone has committed to keeping this campaign alive and growing over the past three years and how we have done all this on a bare bones budget and hundreds of hours of people working their butts off because of their commitment and pride in the work. We even showed off all the cool gifts you can get to express your support for this unprecedented moment in time.
Apparently, what we didn’t do very effectively was stress how much we REALLY need your support right now in order for our work to have the national impact we know in our hearts it can/will have!!!
We are up against three League of Cities, three statewide Business Improvement District organizations, private security companies, Chambers of Commerce, realtors and local government officials….all on a quest to “solve” poverty and homelessness by enforcing discriminatory and harsh laws to make poor and homeless people disappear.
As the National Coalition for the Homeless says:
“The National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) supports WRAP’s groundbreaking three-state Homeless Bill of Rights campaign and your collective work to end the criminalization of rest and accompanying violations of basic human and civil rights for all people, regardless of their housing status. These efforts are critical to diverting expenditures on citing and jailing people for resting in public spaces on efforts to provide critical affordable housing resources.” – Megan Hustings.
To fight back, we need funds to travel to local forums, bring materials, assist poor peoples’ groups to get to state capitals, educate state officials, and make sure our small staff of three part-time people has food to eat and a roof over our own heads…. challenges which the groups opposing us have absolutely no problems with. In fact, our total organizational budget is less than most or all of them make as a salary!!
The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty supports us, urging California, Colorado, and Oregon to seize this opportunity to constructively address the crisis of homelessness and enact the Right to Rest Act. This Act, says Maria Foscarinis, “is a powerful legislative tool that would help states end the criminalization of homelessness, align state policies with federal law, and save taxpayer dollars in the process.”
And no one can say we didn’t make this “ask” pretty direct!