Ensure Freedom from Violence for the Homeless
  • Petitioned Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

This petition was delivered to:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Ensure Freedom from Violence for the Homeless

    1. Danny Fenster
    2. Petition by

      Danny Fenster

      San Jose, CA

In February 2010, California Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal introduced into the state legislature A.B. 2706. The bill sought to expand the an earlier civil rights act to grant the right of the homeless to be free from violence based on their inability to afford or maintain a home.

Lowenthal, commenting on the bill, wrote, "The perpetrators may perceive the homeless as easy defenseless targets. They may see the homeless as second-class citizens, unworthy of respect or mercy. These criminals may prey on the homeless because they know the likelihood of suffering legal consequences from their actions is not as high as it would be if they assaulted another member of the community." She cited studies of recent increases in violence against the homeless.

On September 8, 2010 at 2:30 in the afternoon it was passed on to the Governor's desk, where it sat for 21 days. Oblivious to the studies and motives cited by Lowenthal, Governor Schwazenager finally wrote, "it is unclear whether the homeless are targeted for violence because they are homeless ... Furthermore, poverty is not a suspect classification." Negating the view of the appropriations committee members who gave their approval, he wrote that the inclusion of the homeless in the legal protections of the freedom from targeted violence "could result in legal challenges and increased court costs."

On September 29, Governor Shwarzenegger vetoed A.B. 2706.

This petition is to make him reconsider, and to pass A.B. 2706, to protect homeless citizens from violence.

Photo credit: Myrrien

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 500 signatures
    2. Hasta La Vista, A.B. 2706, Legal Protections for the Homeless

      Josie Raymond
      Petition Organizer

      In 1976, the Ralph Civil Rights Act, named after civil rights activist Ralph David Abernathy, was passed in California. The bill tries to guarantee any state resident freedom from violence or intimidation based on personal characteristics including...


    Reasons for signing

    • Saran Singh ANTELOPE, CA
      • over 3 years ago

      He was unclear if the homeless are targeted because they were homeless. That is the reason why. They should do more to prevent attacks like this. If you don't fund shelters, then how can we create an atmosphere where the homeless can gather around, have protection, sleep in peace knowing they won't be victims of these cowardly attacks.

    • Deb Brown RALEIGH, NC
      • over 3 years ago

      Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity, nothing exceed the criticisms made of the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed and well-fed.

      -Hermann Melvile 1819-1891

    • Margaret R HAZEL GREEN, AL
      • over 3 years ago

      I thought Brown was the new Gov.

    • Denelle Ergh RITTMAN, OH
      • over 3 years ago

      Any homeless person, not just those with children, need to be protected. It's to our everlasting shame that we as human beings are so without empathy and morals that we would allow people to victimize homeless people. There is just so much inhumanity to go around in this world. The persons responsible for this behavior need to be made to sleep outside on the ground over a heat grate in the middle of winter to see how this might feel if it were them. Disgusting!


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