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Kaia Sand | 1 / 4 century of tenting bans, sit-lie ordinances

Director’s Desk | Wheeler, Ryan proposal joins an extended line of metropolis actions countered by protests and lawsuits

On Oct. 21, Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Dan Ryan proposed “a citywide ban on self-sited unsanctioned encampments coupled with designated various tenting websites.” This tenting ban, scheduled to go to a vote this Thursday, Nov. 3, doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The town of Portland has promoted, and been challenged on, restrictions which might be each about tenting (tenting bans) and sitting and mendacity down on sidewalks (sit-lie ordinances). The next is a quick quarter century of political, authorized and direct motion historical past of those ordinances and bans in Portland. By its advocacy wing, Avenue Roots has been concerned on this historical past, serving to discovered Dignity Village in addition to the Western Regional Advocacy Venture.

Direct actions

Many teams have created direct-action camps, usually on the sting of metropolis corridor. The Out of the Doorways marketing campaign staged a camp beneath the Morrison Bridge that reworked into Dignity Village in 2000. The Portland Peace Camp started as an anti-war camp the day the USA invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003, however, as town started to deploy sweeps on that camp, it reworked right into a protest towards sit-lie ordinances. That very same yr, Avenue Roots organized a three-day sit-lie competition to protest town’s sit-lie ordinances through which two of its writers had been arrested. In Could 2008, a gaggle of greater than 100 individuals camped outdoors town corridor to protest the sit-lie ordinances. Whereas organizers of Proper 2 Dream Too arrange on non-public land, town fined it for infractions equivalent to the peak of its fence. R2DToo sued town, finally arriving at a settlement. In 2009, long-time organizer Artwork Rios led one other metropolis corridor encampment. Proper 2 Surve ran its Pitch a Tent tenting motion through the Rose Competition from 2010-2019, an motion within the lineage of the late Nineteen Nineties “ticketing” by the Marketing campaign for Protected Sleep. Cameron Whitten launched a 55-day starvation strike in 2012, preventing for eviction reduction, housing and the cancellation of fines town levied towards Proper 2 Dream Too. Houseless organizers took over land within the Overlook neighborhood to construct Hazelnut Village in 2015, in addition to the short-lived Village of Hope in 2018 and St. Johns Touchdown through the pandemic years. Cease the Sweeps has staged actions in recent times.

The Homeless Invoice of Rights

Western Regional Motion Venture co-founders, Proper 2 Survive, Sisters of the Highway and Avenue Roots — working with the ACLU of Oregon — have promoted a Homeless Invoice of Rights over the previous decade, which has been launched within the Oregon Legislature a number of instances because the Proper to Relaxation Act, most not too long ago in 2021.

Marketing campaign for Authorized Locations to Sleep

Within the late Nineteen Nineties, the Marketing campaign for Authorized Locations to Sleep, of which Burnside Cadillac after which Avenue Roots had been an element, led a direct-action marketing campaign towards town’s anti-camping ordinance. In Oct. 2000, a Multnomah County decide overturned town’s 19-year-old anti-camping ordinance.

sit-lie ordinances

With the tenting ban overturned, Mayor Katz introduced new enforcement pointers for town’s “Obstruction as Nuisances” ordinance in 2002, banning people from sitting or mendacity on a public sidewalk. Violation of the code was a category B misdemeanor, punishable with jail time and a $500 effective. Sit-lie ordinances had been battled on the streets and in courts for years. It was declared unconstitutional by Circuit Court docket Choose Marilyn E. Litzenberger in 2004 and Choose Stephen Ok. Bushong in 2009.

The Anderson Settlement

The Oregon Regulation Middle settled a category motion lawsuit towards town of Portland in 2012, resulting in the Anderson Settlement, which established discover to people earlier than citing them for tenting or eradicating campers’ belongings from public property and setting particular procedures for campers to reclaim confiscated belongings. Avenue Roots vendor and board member Leo Rhodes was one of many plaintiffs. An inter-governmental settlement in 2018 introduced Oregon Division of Transportation property inside Portland underneath Metropolis of Portland pointers.

Martin V Boise

In 2019, the ninth Circuit Enchantment Court docket in Portland upheld Martin v. Boise, which declares “ordinances that criminalize sleeping, sitting, or mendacity in all public areas when no various sleeping house is obtainable” as violating the Eighth Modification on merciless and weird punishment. The states and territories within the ninth circuit embody Alaska, California, Guam, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon and Washington.

The Oregon Justice Useful resource Middle and Underdog Regulation sued town in 2021 for throwing away campers’ possessions, settling in 2022 with clarification of storage insurance policies.


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