Defend those without homes! campaign page [link]
Santa Cruz is attacking houseless people [link]
2013-07-02 "Bike Church Calls for Restoration of Bike Distribution to Santa Cruz Kids Blocked by SCPD"
from NOTES BY NORSE:
I've spoken on this subject and interviewed Steve of the Bike Collective on Free Radio before (check www.huffsantacruz.org/brb-descriptions.html and search for "bike"). Indybay stuff can be found atwww.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/06/11/18738278.php ("A Year Later, Youth Programs Still Waiting on City Bicycles") .
The issue seems to me part of a larger crackdown on services that help poor people spearheaded by the Bryant majority at City Council and "Hysteria Against the Homeless" groups like Take Back Santa Cruz, The Clean Team, the Downtown Association, and Santa Cruz Neighbors (not to mention the SCPD). Politically motivated & legally suspect backroom deals free from meaningful public comment or notice seems to be increasingly the Council's Path.
Personally I think mass occupation of the City Manager's office and protests outside the Bike Dojo and the SCPD would be a more productive approach, but public pressure on the City Council isn't a bad thing either as the e-mail below suggests.
2013-07-02 "Help Restore City Youth Bicycle Distributions"
message from Steve of Santa Cruz Hub for Sustainable Living [santacruzhub.org]:
Please help us reinstate a valuable City program of distributing unclaimed bicycles to youth in need by voicing your support at City Council on Tuesday, July 9th, 4:30pm, or by contacting Council members ahead of time.
For years unclaimed bicycles were given by the Santa Cruz Police Department to the Bike Church, which in turn distributed them to various nonprofits like Barrios Unidos, Project Bike Trip, and Green Ways to School. The broken and severely dysfunctional bikes were salvaged by the Bike Church, which makes used parts available cheap-to-free to the community, giving some away through our free-to-youth and adult work-trade programs.
Over the last year, the City has given unclaimed bikes instead to a for-profit business called the Bike Dojo, which has not invited other groups to participate, and which has sold many bikes which are supposed to go out for free to youth. Despite admitting these problems, the City has not taken any action to remedy the situation.
Please ask the City Council to immediately reinstate the distribution of unclaimed bicycles to youth for free through the Bike Church or another qualified nonprofit agency, as required by the Municipal Code (SCMC 2.24.120). The Bike Church is also calling for distributions open to all interested nonprofits in the City, as they were under the Bike Church's management, and for all years prior.
For a more detailed account of the story you can see our blog entry:
Thanks for your support,
The Bike Church Collective
SAMPLE LETTER TO COUNCIL:
Dear Council Members,
Thanks to the City for its years-long program of distributing unclaimed bicycles to youth in need through the help of the Bike Church. These distributions helped hundreds of youth gain access to bicycles, and I hope they are reinstated without delay.
I also want to express my support for the Bike Church, which offers a great service by teaching people how to fix bikes for themselves, as well as recycling tons of usable parts which otherwise would go to the landfill. The Bike Church is the kind of positive community resource that the City should be proud to have. They have also proven to be the most effective managers of the youth bicycle distributions, coordinating with numerous other organizations to get bikes to youth, while salvaging usable parts from the junk no one else wants. Please reinstate the Bike Church as managers of the program.