Dateline Santa Cruz California
Meet “Ticketman!” Unfortunately, not faster than a speeding police car…
This gentleman is fashionably attired in one week’s worth of tickets (approximately 20) for various minor ‘offenses’ such as smoking in public on Pacific Street, the main street downtown cum shopping mall, and camping. He is attempting to prove a point that Santa Cruz California is not much more than a tourist/transient office worker clip joint/ticket mill… Where the locals get the tickets and the tourists/TOWs get warnings.
My guess is he’s attempting to test Santa Cruz county’s new “Scofflaw ordinance”, with the Orwellian name “ ’Vertical Prosecution' of chronic offenders” making three tickets a jail-able missydemeanor. The county sheriff, in his public statement after the enactment of the law. stated the enforcement would NOT be based on ‘status’.
I suspect the county sheriff scuttled his own DA’s law with his big mouth and I’ll be SURE to remind the judge of that when and if the SCPD incarcerates me for a 1/2 dozen camping tickets received over the last year or so… that houselessness IS ABSOLUTELY related to ECONOMIC STATUS.
The public smoking ordinance, put in place a few years ago is also CLASS RELATED, in a town that leaves traffic laws essentially unenforced at a downtown continually clogged with cars on a ‘tourist street’ so as to not scare affluent shoppers away.
It’s a well known fact that working class people and the poor tend to smoke (WorldBank pdf) whereas the more affluent socially conformist members of society do not.
Further, DO NOT believe the trope regurgitated by the Santa Cruz Senile:
"…it doesn’t mean throwing people in jail," he (DA Lee) said, noting that representatives of the Homeless Services Center and other groups will work to get offenders into treatment, housing and other services.
, The county IS in the process of gathering funding for a larger jail facility due to ‘overcrowding’. When the county built the Blaine Street facility a couple of decades ago, (displacing a whole working class neighborhood in the process)
the reason was overcrowding at the downtown facility… now home to the Santa Cruz “Museum of Art & History” aka The MAH EVENT CENTER, and the new triple-the-previous-size jail had people sleeping in the day rooms within three months.
They ALWAYS find people to fill their cage facilities. There IS NO SUCH THING as an ‘undercrowded’ jail in California, where there is a police officer within 15 minutes of EVERY point in the state.
Further, The habitual drug-related offenders DA Lee speaks of shun drug ‘treatment’ or use it for purposes of winter shelter, for which there are many clinics, facilities, and pre-existing funding to assist. However, there is no such thing as ‘treatment’ or housing for the massive number of simply displaced workers camping in the hills… short of “treating” them to a non-existent full-time job that would pay the incredibly inflated local rent, ‘inflated due in part to the influence of income tax writeoffs of a goodly portion of that rent available for transient office workers and away-from-the-nest UCSC students, who also appear to have a total monopoly on all the part-time facework jobs in Santa Cruz… eg. the whole job market in the downtown area.leaving local kids, literally, begging for jobs and housing along with everyone else
For an example of how this rehabilitative “Substance Abuse Treatment” might work, last week a local private “Behavioral Health” clinic ‘MH Cann’ had one of their clients speak to the diners at the Red Church Monday evening free meal where he stated, in so many words, that last month he had a bad pill habit but MH Cann helped him ‘get clean’ and set him up with a place to live (one of the many ‘clean & sober’ houses where local worker housing used to be but how COULD a property owner pass up guaranteed federal checks for his junk mortgage payments in a town with a 10%+ adult unemployment rate)
and a job at the local homeless shelter… The county homeless-facility-they-never-wanted, with a fully operational prison yard culture, and now with, apparently, “Lipstick-on-the-pig” barely weaned from narcotics “Trustees” to work there and lord over that yard.