BUTTE COUNTY BUZZ
The Butte County Democratic Party response to the Chico City Council's mishandling of the homeless issue.
It has been said that incompetence is expensive, and we need look no further than the recent actions of the Chico City Council. Their misguided handling of our unhoused individuals has been a disaster.
Federal judge Morrison C. England, Jr., confirmed in open court in Sacramento on April 23rd that the conservative wing of the Chico City Council has breached its duties to Chicoans by taking no action to make shelter available to people who need it, by promoting lies to defend that inaction, by passing ordinances so vague they cannot legally be enforced, and by using public funds to stage police actions that are popular with some because they are “anti-homeless,” but that are illegal.
This is the same gang that wants to let the Shelter Emergency Declaration expire in June so that they can pretend they “solved” the shelter emergency. Letting the declaration expire would make Chico ineligible for state and federal grants that have yielded more than $850,000 over the last few years to address this issue, and would imperil Chico's chances of getting state and federal housing crisis funds in the future. It makes no sense to stage another political stunt that will not address the problem and will leave Chico without valuable outside resources to do so, possibly for many years to come.
It is time for “leaders” to show leadership. Lead by being honest with voters, telling them that it is a violation of the United States Constitution to criminalize having nowhere to go when adequate shelter is not available. Lead by defending the constitutional rights of all, not just those of yourself and your political allies. Lead by taking concrete steps to address the homelessness problem in Chico, a problem that everyone agrees must be addressed.
The City should, as soon as possible, designate a safe, sanctioned campground for unhoused people to stay until they can find affordable housing. As the Enterprise-Record editorial board pointed out on April 25th, there are multiple possible locations. The City should make the designation in consultation with the unhoused plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit, as directed by Judge England. Getting the lawsuit settled quickly will avoid the expenditure of more taxpayer money on the fool’s errand of defending the legally indefensible.
Open Letter to the Chico City Council
June 21, 2021
The Butte County Democratic Party is outraged by the agitators who, in the pursuit of political advantage, cost Chico City Councilor Scott Huber his employment.
Members of the political action committee Citizens for a Safe Chico and other conservative groups targeted a public official’s employer, threatening not only his livelihood, but the viability of the employer’s business itself. Council member Huber resigned from his position as a result.
The tactics employed by his detractors are vile and unacceptable. This repulsive and insulting behavior must stop. Butte County is better than that.
Every citizen has the right to disagree with and criticize elected representatives, but redress comes on Election Day. To prevent a local official—a neighbor—from making a living simply due to political differences crosses the line of free speech and has no place in the democratic process.
Citizens for a Safe Chico receives the bulk of its substantial funding from conservative business owners, even our Republican assemblyman. We call on these contributors to reflect on their own difficulties, and the difficulties of friends and loved ones, staying afloat during the pandemic and join us in condemning those who would weaponize the job market.
For the other Chico City Council members, regardless of political affiliation, we call on each of you to strenuously—and on the public record—denounce, condemn, state your objection to these tactics, and demand a more civil political discourse.
Butte County Democratic Party Chairperson
Our Annual Spring Fundraiser Was a Great Success! If You Missed This Live Event You Can Still Watch It On YouTube! Just click here: Chavez-King (Virtual) Dinner, a musical celebration!
1692 Mangrove Avenue
Chico, CA 95926