In a progressive church on Oak street, community and neighborhood association members sat with interest as Paul Boden, Executive Director of Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP), opened strong the night, with a speech as to why Oregon needs a Homeless Bill of Rights. The audience attention was captured.
Right 2 Survive then took the stage beginning the HBRC Powerpoint Presentation the community came to hear. Ibrahim Mubarak, Executive Director of Right 2 Survive, along with Comrades Tricia Reed, Mike Summers and Lisa Fay (videographer) impressed the crowd with facts and statistics. Each slide holds a visual emphasis on systemic declines in housing, increases in criminalization of Houseless by using unjust laws and the vast amounts of money the government throws at defense. They took turns explaining how people of color, disabled, low income and houseless have routinely been displaced by capitalism and government enforcement of laws intended to oppress the already marginalized in society.
Captivated by what they heard the people sitting in the main room of the church, listening and seeing for themselves how housing injustice has unfolded over the decades since Reagan they had comments and questions. This group of concerned citizens understood what is happening in Eugene, is happening across the Nation. They witness the growing numbers of people living outside without shelter from the elements or safety from harassment.
Besides hosting us and the HBRC, Ken Neubeck and Micheal Carrigan of CALC, lead the discussion that followed along with a responsive Q & A session. Eugene people are smart and really understood the breakdown of the Bill. They asked: what will the bill do? Who have we contacted? What are the five protections the bill offers? How can they support?
After answering their questions, Our comrades felt that this was a new group they reached and are eager to make the follow ups for endorsing the campaign. As folks trickled out of the church they saw opportunities to seek out all of us. We stayed conversing in front of the church for more than an hour. Ken and Micheal were great at hosting and getting the word of our coming to represent the Homeless Bill of Rights Campaign and Powerpoint Presentation.