After our direct action to disrupt the full Council meeting on Monday, we spent Tuesday and Wednesday inside Council chambers at the final budget meetings. We continued to put extreme pressure on the council to pass a tax on big business to fund housing and homelessness services and to stop the police sweeps.
The Council eventually voted against both measures, which was extremely upsetting, however, there is reason to be hopeful as our movement forced the Council to promise to create a new tax that they all can agree on within 30 days or so. It also forced them to pass a measure that improves reporting on the police sweeps, even though it does not stop them.
The councilmembers who voted against the tax on big business: Rob Johnson, Bruce Harrell, Lorena Gonzalez, Debora Juarez, Sally Bagshaw.
The councilmembers who voted to continue the police sweeps of our neighbors: Rob Johnson, Lorena Gonzalez, Bruce Harrell, Debora Juarez, Sally Bagshaw and Lisa Herbold.
During the last meeting on Wednesday, the number of homeless folks who’ve died outside was updated from 78 to 86. We made signs on the fly to reflect this:
I had spent the weekend prior at a socialist organizing event where I presented our movement and tried to rally folks to come be part of our actions at City Hall. This is what the program looked like for the Socialist Alternative event.
Here is what we looked like in Council on both days. We were so tired.
These were the news headlines from City Hall in The Stranger:
This is an excerpt from one news story in The Stranger:
Here is one more headline which my picture made it into:
This is what I posted on Facebook and the responses to it:
Our movement will continue in full force. We still demand Council stick to their word about creating a head tax that they will approve within 30-60 days. We also are demanding legislation to stop the sweeps after this budget process. There have been indications that it is fully possible to pass.
Here are some of the recent national headlines from the Washington Post: