Defend those without homes! campaign page [link]
Human Rights abuse in itty-bitty Santa Cruz [link]
2013-09-02 "Update on Santa Cruz CruzioWorks Discriminatory Treatment of Dan Madison"
by Robert Norse [firstname.lastname@example.org] [https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/09/02/18742587.php]:
Four weeks have passed since CruzioWorks took Dan Madison's several hundred dollars to pay for a 24-hour computer workspace, then turned around several hours later and broke their contract, apparently because a co-tenant in the building was "uncomfortable" see Dan and his son standing near their bikes in the CruzioWorks bike parking area. She suggested to Dan that they would cause junkies to gather in the area because of their homeless appearance and the sight of homeless possessions on their bicycles. An e-mail to this effect, was apparently enough to cause the "liberal" management to tear up Dan's contract. His subsequent request in writing for a formal hearing and clarification of why service was being revoked was denied. HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) picketed the business on two successive Fridays. The management declined to clarify its rationale.
BACKGROUND OF THE BIGOTRY -
The background and some prior correspondence to and from CruzioWorks is at [http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/08/14/18741605.php]. Follow the links to find more details and documents.
Fliers are available to download, read, and distribute. There are also some radio links. Dan currently has a radio show on Free Radio Santa Cruz which streams every Sunday 1 - 3 PM at [http://tunein.com/radio/FRSC-s47254].
STONEWALLING CUSTOMERS UPSET WITH THE DISCRIMINATORY BEHAVIOR -
More recently, several concerned community members wrote to the CruzioWorks management in search of answers and clearer understanding of what happened. CruzioWorks "responded" with the e-mails below:
On Aug 24, 2013, at 1:31 PM, James Weller wrote message to Cruzio Customer Service [email@example.com]: I am a long-time loyal Cruzio customer, and I am in general very pleased with the sercvice I have received, and supportive of the organization, its work, and what I perceive to be its values. However, I have a very serious concern regarding a matter of management practice or policy that I want to discuss with someone who has authority to correct what i feel is a critical problem. I would like a response inviting me to meet in person with a senior manager to discuss my concerns at your office some time next week. Thank you in advance for what I expect will be your courteous accommodation. [signed] Jim Weller
On Aug 27, 2013, at 10:54 AM, Cruzio Customer Service replied: Hi Jim, Thanks for reaching out. Our management team take any customer questions extremely seriously and are always happy to discuss any issues. But without an idea of your area of concern, it's hard to know who on our team would be best placed to address them with you. If you could please email an outline of your concern, I'll be sure to ask the appropriate member of our senior staff to respond to you directly. Thanks again for contacting us. Best Regards, Sandi, Cruzio Customer Service
On Aug 29, 2013, at 10:40 AM, James Weller wrote: Hi, Sandi. My concern has to do with the experience of a man I know whose pre-paid Cruzio Works facilities use agreement was summarily terminated by Cruzio in a prejudicial and wrongful manner. It appears to me this man has been done a significant injustice, and I want to ask that proper amends be made. Regards, Jim Weller
A SECOND CUSTOMER GETS STONEWALLED -
Scott Galloway, a Calvary Church activist, also wrote to the Cruzio management and received the following reply:
Hi Scott, Thanks for contacting us, we appreciate your concern. While we do not discuss specifics of our interactions with individual customers, we will say this: Cruzio Internet does not discriminate against any group or individual, for any reason, nor do we tolerate discrimination from any of our employees. It is
Our Cruzioworks coworking center is open to the whole community, as evidenced by our willingness to sign up members with no permanent address. Clearly homelessness in itself is not an issue for us. Cruzioworks has had members who are homeless, and some of our staff have been homeless.
However, since coworking requires a mutual trust among all members, especially after hours when Cruzio staff is not always on hand, we must be strict about our membership rules. We respond only to actions and do not make judgments based on categories, but it is our responsibility and our legal right to act when there is a concern. We'll often insist that a new member spend a certain amount of time as a 9-5 user, before we give 24/7 keycard access to the facility. This provides a good way for new members to access the space, while reassuring existing members. It is in no way a reflection on any individual.
We are disappointed that we seem to have become the object of an unwarranted attack. We don't believe the group attacking us accurately represent the views of the majority of the Santa Cruz homeless community. Their rush to judgment is harming a company which has always been an ally.
For almost 25 years Cruzio has served the Santa Cruz community and supported many diverse local organizations including Community Bridges, the Homeless Garden Project and 2nd Harvest Food Bank. We stand by our track record as an ethical, non-discriminatory company and we'll continue to strive to build an open, creative, and safe community.
Hope this allays your concerns. Thanks again for reaching out. [signed] James Hackett, Business Development, Marketing & Communications Manager, Cruzio Internet
DISINGENUOUS RESPONSE -
CruzioWorks manager James Hackett mentions "responding to actions", but has refused to specify either to the customers asking or to Dan Madison himself what specific action concerned the management. The "privacy" excuse is also bogus, because Dan Madison has made the issue quite public and waived any privacy concerns. Most tellingly, they have not returned his own specific request to know why he was refused service, whether he will be provided an appeal process, and what specific rule---if any--he violated.
The conclusion is difficult to avoid that CruzioWorks, in spite of its liberal cover story, is showing by its actions what kind of phobias and prejudices actually create its policies. This is a Santa Cruz-wide issue and needs to be confronted.
RESTATING THE OBVIOUS -
My own response to a friend of CruzioWorks:
Thanks for your inquiries. I think the issue is whether a homeless-looking person--on complaint of a nervous tenant--who is applying for a 24 hours space gets segregated into a "we'll only serve you during daylight hours" status, All because of the non-specific apprehensions of a person who finds the sight of the man's son standing next to a bike with saddlebags "suspicious" & "likely to draw junkies".
The issue is not whether they have other homeless customers, but whether someone who's apprehensive about the homeless can veto him based on their fears. There was no allegation that voices were raised, simply that some unidentified woman made bizarre and bigoted demands on someone who was already a customer. Several hours later Dan's 24-hour membership was "revoked" in apparent violation of the one-month notice to change a contract.
I see this as succumbing to the kind of Cynthia Mathews bigotry that had her attacking Father Joel Miller at Calvary Episcopal four years ago. If someone's appearance makes someone else uncomfortable, then that person can get a whole organization to restrict or ban that person? Come on, Joseph.
If you've learned any more specifics that might indicate new facts here, I'd be interested in hearing them. You would certainly in a better position to know.
To reiterate. As for "feeling comfortable"--that's the excuse for running blacks out of restaurants decades ago and homeless out of the downtown in Santa Cruz. It doesn't wash, and I'm surprised you're repeat this excuse. Many people of different ideologies can use a workspace without requiring they all be bosom buddies. These are customers after all. Am I missing something?
There really is never a "clear way back to a better outcome" (witness the decades long struggle against the Sleeping Ban). That doesn't mean we abandon our understanding of what is right in this situation and what the truth of the circumstances are. Please clarify if I've misstated or missed anything.
[signed] Robert Norse
KEEP UP THE PRESSURE -
I urge those concerned about the spread of paranoia and bigotry against homeless people in Santa Cruz to write to Cruzio at office [at] cruzio.com and ask the hard questions. It might be time for the community to clarify that it doesn't stand for anonymous bigotry behind closed doors. Tell them there are other service providers. I also suggest raising the issue on Yelp (http://www.yelp.com under "Cruzio Internet")
by Robert Norse [https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/08/16/18741655.php]:
Last Saturday Occupy Santa Cruz and its Homeless Justice Working Group resolution proposed and endorsed a picket against CruzioWorks discriminatory termination of a signed and paid-for contract to use the group's 24-hour workspace. Building on this decision, HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) decided the following Wednesday to broaden the scope of the picketing and protest Friday.
The protest will collect and document accounts of discrimination against homeless people at the nearby library, in public spaces downtown, and at downtown businesses. The picket's focus Friday is still the Dan Madison case. He was abruptly and unlawfully terminated without any specific reason several hours after paying, apparently on the instigation of a co-tenant in the building.
The anonymous woman was made nervous by the sight of Dan's son, Gryphon, who has Asperger's Syndrome, minding two bikes loaded with their possessions in the CruzioWorks parking lot which she felt "encouraged junkies."
Police & sheriffs reportedly continue to sweep homeless campsites, seizing homeless property and destroying it in violation of state law and the state and federal Constitutions.
At the last Friday CruzioWorks protest on 8-9, Mystaya Magawa an older woman in tears, reported losing her job and then her health care and her job in Bakersfield. A cancer & MS patient newly arrived in Santa Cruz and homeless with her teen-aged daughter, she described how Starbucks made her leave the coffeeshop after buying coffee because she had her backpack with her. How unlike Bakersfield, police made her stand up when resting on the sidewalk. How she was told it was illegal to cover-up with a blanket at night outside. (Listen to Mystaya's account in the last five minutes of the audio file at [http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb131508.mp3])
Hate cartoons in the Sentinel by de Cinzo portraying homeless people as needle-strewing fly-ridden bums while the Mayor creates a phony "Public Security" Citizens Task Force. The group, meeting at a police department ever eager to have new "tools" like the Sleeping Ban, Stop-and-Frisk, the end of needle exchange, curfews, triple-fine zones, and other policestate-heavy measures, is headed by a Boardwalk publicist and a homeless-hostile ex-Cop.
The pre-fabricated agenda excluding most public testimony justifiles a NIMBY crackdown on the limited services homeless people currently get. The ambitious and smiley-faced Homeless (Lack of) Services Center director Monica Martinez backs the measures while denying homeless clients the documentation they need to avert harassment citations for sleeping and covering up with blankets--as the Paul Lee loft closes down to any newcomers for three months.
City Council and the Board of Supervisors have squandered over $100,000 to fund a "Security Gate" out at the Homeless (Lack of ) Services Center to pander to the paranoia and homeless-get-out agenda of groups like the Santa Cruz Neighbors, the Downtown Association, and Take Back Santa Cruz. (Some activists intend to denounce the waste at Oral Communications 9 AM at the Board meeting Tuesday 8-20 on the 5th Floor of the County Building).
Instead of pointing out that crime has not risen in Santa Cruz for decades--other than smaller property crimes like bike theft-- liberals nervously pander to the "Safety" myth that hysteria hotheads preaching, endlessly harping on the atypical killings of Shannon Collins, Butchie Baker, and Elizabeth Baker. This kind of political cowardice and opportunism is similar to the Obama regime's signing on to the foreign wars, the war on terror, domestic surveillance, and the heightened attacks on whistleblowers.
THE MADISON CASE
It is this myth that seems to have prompted the complaint against Dan Madison by a still unidentified tenant for simply having a homeless son standing next to a bike filled with homeless possessions. Worse, and more telling, the "liberal" CruzioWorks management had no problem in summarily denying Madison's 24-hour service (violating a 30-day notice requirement) without even giving him a hearing.
Nearly a week has passed and Madison's e-mail requesting a clear explanation from CruzioWorks has gone unanswered (See [http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/08/08/18741236.php?show_comments=1#18741257]).
Attempts by Cruzio's customers to get a straight answer have also failed ([http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/08/08/18741236.php?show_comments=1#18741493]).
If we patronize businesses that bill themselves as liberals but actually take their marching orders from NIMBY bigots, if we accept their succumbing to the myth that homeless people are a "Public Safety" danger, we enter a truly dangerous time.
While activists will be encouraging folks to either not patronize CruzioWorks or to demand some explanation for the exclusionary action, we will also be asking homeless people to speak out on abusive practices elsewhere. Such practices include Head Librarian Teresas Landers's new "no signs in the library" policy directing a homeless person to turn his sign to the wall--the man had a political sign denouncing George H.W. Bush--or leave the library.
Landers also has implemented a "bring your backpack into the library, get kicked out" notice given to Madison a few days ago. Madison also reported a thuggish "wake up or get out" policy by security guards for nodding off in the library.
I've also received reports of First Alarm heavies excluding homeless people from the library grounds during daylight hours before the library opens, driving them from the grass at City Hall, and stalking them in San Lorenzo Park (See "First Alarm Security Guards Profile and Stalk San Lorenzo Park Users" at [http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/06/24/18738888.php]).
Sweeps on the levee, in Harvey West Park (one this morning), and in the Pogonip are on-going and threaten the dignity, health, and safety of the homeless community.
WHAT IS TO BE DONE
Homeless folks and those who wish to oppose this crackdown are invited to join the picket, witness, and/or testify to what they have seen. If you can't make the protest but have seen particular abuses, please post the details on-line or contact HUFF at 831-423-4833 and leave your account.
Contact Cruzio at 831-459-6301 or office [at] cruzio.com to demand justice for Dan Madison and the homeless community.
To paraphrase Edmund Burke, "All that is needed for evil to prevail is for good folks to do nothing."
On the other hand, consider this posting by activist Colin Campbell Clyde: [http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151821128440854&set=gm.565530216837466&type=1&relevant_count=1].
The choice is ours.
For more background on the case go to [http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/08/08/18741236.php] and follow the comments.
Picketing Prejudice at CruzioWorks
Call to Action!
Friday, August 16, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
In front of CruzioWorks HQ in Downtown Santa Cruz at Church and Cedar Streets
Address 309 Cedar PMB #14B Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Dan Madison, denied 24-hour service after he'd paid for it CruzioWorks on 8-6, has received no response to his written demand that service be restored. (indybay.org/newsitems/2013/08/08/18741236.php?show_comments=1#18741257)
HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) has also received no reply or further information from manager James Hackett or anyone else there. No managers and workers appeared to address the issue at an informational tabling and protest outside CruzioWorks 8-9.
Steve Schnaar, a Cruzio customer, got a boilerplate response that failed to reassure him. (indybay.org/newsitems/2013/08/08/18741236.php?show_comments=1#18741493 )
No activists or customers have reported getting any substantive response from Cruzioworks about the "incident" which they claim justified breaking their contract with Dan.
They have not described any specifics as to why the management responded to what appears to be a fear-and-prejudice-based stereotyping of Dan and his son Gryphon by a tenant in the building.
Meanwhile, AIDS survivor 70-year-old David Silva revealed that he too had been denied services there once he told them he was homeless.
A longer description of the background and issues is posted at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/08/08/18741236.php?show_comments=1#18741281 .
PICK UP A PICKET !
SIGN THE PETITION TO RESTORE SERVICES TO DAN!
CONTACT CRUZIO & GET THE FULL STORY...IF YOU CAN!
CruzioWorks: 831-459-6301 peggy [at] cruzio.com
"Cruzio Works bans homeless customer: protest and informational Picket"
Friday August 09, 1PM - 3PM
In front of Cruzio Works HQ in Downtown Santa Cruz at Church and Cedar Streets
Contact Name: Robert Norse [firstname.lastname@example.org] [831-423-4833]
The following is Dan Madison's account of discrimination and contract breach at Cruzio Works.
Dan describes himself as a computer graphics designer with a 19-year old son. Both have disabilities and are homeless.
On Monday August 5, Dan Mattison reports he and his son Gryphon paid around $300 for a Cruzio sign-up and a Cruzio Works 24-hour workspace. He advised them that he was homeless and was told there would be no problem.
As Dan made financial arrangements, Gryphon watched the bikes, which also held their possessions, as they were temporarily parked in the storage area in the back of the Cruzio building.
At some point a woman who later turned out to be someone who worked in the building but not for Cruzio, demanded to know what they were doing there. Dan, went out to speak with her. He explained they were paying customers who had rented a 24-hour space but would be moving the bikes to a city bike storage locker (which he did shortly thereafter).
The woman said she'd already called the police and was concerned with "homeless junkies" being attracted to the area and that she had some issues with their being there at all. But her fears were apparently allayed by the fact that Dan was a paying patron of the business.
However later when Dan returned to get his key, a Cruzio employee (who refused to give her name or her superior's name) told Dan that his membership was being revoked because of the woman's apprehensions which she had read in an e-mail. She would not specify what particular behavior was of concern.
This is Dan's account.
He came to a HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) meeting the next day and told us his story. We joined him in going to Cruzio to ask their side of the story.
I was present for this meeting and an audio was made.
Another woman and an escort again refused to give any specific reason why his membership had been terminated (though she said they would allow him a daytime membership on a "trial basis"). She did mention that they had a "community" there whose "safety" and "comfort" was of primary concern. She would not give any policy or act that suggested there was any violation of a rule that justified either calling the police or terminating his 24-hour membership.
HUFF members conferred outside and decided it sounded like anti-homeless discrimination. We will be setting up Cafe HUFF--an informational table with coffee to seek further information and to inform the community of what appears to be a rather sinister kind of backroom bigotry which is impacting a work-seeking homeless person, who has paid his bill.
We will be demanding that Cruzio Works restore Dan's contract, issue a non-discrimination pledge, and further survey folks about their experiences with Cruzio Works.
Some HUFF members are pressing for a boycott of Cruzio Works (though not necessarily of Cruzio, the internet service).
The recorded interchange between Dan and the Cruzio rep on 8-7 is difficult to hear but somewhat illuminating in that Cruzio refuses to specify what rule was broken, what the complaint by a third party was, and what the "incident" consisted of.
INTERVIEW WITH DAN AND HIS SON GRYPHON ON FREE RADIO SANTA CRUZ: http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb130808.mp3
COME CHECK OUT THE PROTEST AND SHARE A CUP OF COFFEE ON FRIDAY TO FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF !
Daniel Madison's Formal Letter Seeking Redress from CruzioWorks
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2013 09:49:28 -0700
Subject: Discrimination at Cruzioworks
From: dannydsml [at] gmail.com
To: [email@example.com] [firstname.lastname@example.org] [email@example.com] [firstname.lastname@example.org]
To Whom it may concern.
My son and I paid for a 24/7 account at Cruzioworks and then a few hours later after Cruzio received my payment I was told they were canceling the account over some vague incident involving someone "feeling" uncomfortable with us being there. The actions taken by the staff at Cruzioworks is wrong, demeaning and discriminatory. We did nothing to deserve this treatment and demand that Cruzio allow us to keep our 24/7 accounts with an apology and written assurance Cruzio won't discriminate against the homeless and others again.
If this is unacceptable to Cruzio, please give a detailed account of why my 24/7 service was terminated so that I may continue taking legal action of unlawful termination, breech of contract and discrimination.
[signed] Daniel Madison
2013-08-09 "Brief But Boisterous Table-a-thon"
by Robert Norse [https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/08/08/18741236.php?show_comments=1#18741281]:
HUFF under the leadership of "Beggarbacker" Becky Johnson set up a small table on the sidewalk in front of the CruzioWorks entrance at Cedar and Church Streets about 1 PM as scheduled. The homeless father and son smeared as some kind of "security risk" were there. So were several thermoses of coffee and condiments for thirsty passersby.
Dan wielded a "Don't Discriminate" sign and gave out flyers to folks coming and going from the "Sentinel Cafe" in the Cruzio building. Gryphon sat across the street minding the two possession-laden bicycles and bike cart-as he'd done three days before on the same Tuesday they were barred because he was "loitering".
A friendly Cruzio employee explained to me that the other tenants of the building were "on edge" because of an earlier break-in, perhaps explaining the pathology of the service denial. I was reminded of the broader atmosphere of hysteria created by Santa Cruz Neighbors, the Sentinel, the SCPD, and, of course, The Clean Team and Take Back Santa Cruz that has ramped up harassment of innocent homeless people in Santa Cruz generally.
"Dead On" David Silva sat with a placard outlining the contradictory and hypocritical contrast between CruzioWork's claim of non-discrimination and its illegal cancellation of a the 24/7 contract with Dan Madison a few hours after he signed it.
Officer Azua double-parked his car half a block away and strode up to insist we "not block the sidewalk". An older woman, upset by what Cruzio was doing, pursued the officer back to his car, trying to educate him on the issue. Azua, ever oblivious, suggested she 'take a homeless person into your home."
Passersby in cars did lots of rubbernecking, almost all surprisingly positive with thumbs up and Victory finger signals as well as broad smiles and nods. The one negative shout suggested "close down the homeless bum center" (perhaps referring to the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center.
One crying woman happened by, noting she was dying from cancer and recently barred from Starbucks a block away (perhaps our next target) because of a backpack. Several other travelers reported police harassment and hostility. Other housed locals expressed outrage. Even some other First Alarm Security thugs chatted informally with Dan and David, perhaps taking time off from surveilling "suspicious" homeless locals at the library.
I'll be playing her account and other sound bytes from the tabling Sunday August 11th at 10AM on the stream of Free Radio Santa Cruz at http://www.freakradio.org (also reachable through http://tunein.com/radio/FRSC-s47254/ and archived at http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb130811.mp3 (about an hour and a half into the audio file).
No CruzioWorks customer were clearly convinced at the door to turn back by cries of "Bigotry Big Time Downtown!" and other loud announcements made by protesters. A dozen or so signed the two petitions.
All in all the protest was a positive first step towards informing the community about CruzioWorks untenable and bigoted position. A Santa Cruz Weekly reporter spoke with Dan and several others at some length.
There was brief mention of the secondary question of whether Cruzio is secretly cooperating with the feds and the NSA in turning over our e-mail to the Obama snoops. An answer there is yet to be forthcoming. If you care who's reading your e-mail, give Cruzio a call at 831-459-6301.
While you're at it, ask if their subsection CruzioWorks, is still discriminating against homeless and disabled folks. And just how they feel about that.