Step down, Mayor Mike Coffman. "Homeless Mike" stunt shows unfitness for public service

Step down, Mayor Mike Coffman. "Homeless Mike" stunt shows unfitness for public service

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Party for Socialism and Liberation - Denver started this petition to Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman

Aurora, CO Mayor Mike Coffman disqualified himself as a public servant when he went "undercover" posing as a homeless veteran to launch a demonization campaign against his constituents facing homelessness amidst a deepening housing crisis and deadly pandemic.

His week-long personal experiment apparently led him to dismiss the entire body of serious research on the issue of homelessness. He shared his conclusions with CBS 4 Denver: "These encampments are not a product of the economy or COVID. They’re not a product of rental rates or housing. They are part of a drug culture." When asked if the problem was not about a lack of shelter, Coffman answered, "It really isn’t. It is a lifestyle choice and it is a very dangerous lifestyle choice.”

It was apparently lost on Coffman that in posing himself as a homeless veteran, he was leaning on the high rates of homelessness among veterans, a disgraceful reality in the United States where men and women are sent to fight and bleed in wars for profit, then return home to find themselves without adequate jobs, healthcare, mental health treatment, and housing. It is these circumstances—not personal choice—which explain why veterans make up 11% of homeless adults in the US.

Aurora, like every city and town in the country, is on the verge of a major deepening of the current housing crisis. When the federal moratorium on evictions expires, some 520,000 Coloradans—more than 15% of the state population—may face eviction. A great number of Mike Coffman's constituents are hovering on the brink of homelessness, and whether they are able to stay in their homes will largely depend on the actions of our government, not on their "choice" between the "lifestyle" of homelessness or security for themselves and their families.

In the face of a deepening housing crisis coinciding with a deadly pandemic, now more than ever we need our leadership to understand the hardships facing their constituents and to fight to alleviate them. Mike Coffman has already demonstrated his determination to do the opposite—to demonize those who are struggling in order to justify doing nothing in the face of their suffering.

As residents of the Aurora area, we call for Mike Coffman's immediate resignation from Aurora mayor.

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