Create a welcoming and accessible library for the homeless members of our community.

Create a welcoming and accessible library for the homeless members of our community.

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E Owens started this petition to City of Arlington and

I’m a regular visitor to the George W. Hawkes Downtown Arlington Library.  About three to four weeks ago, I noticed a change in the main entry/lobby of the library.  What is usually an area filled with library patrons is now a cold, desolate space.  All seating and tables have been removed.  There is no where for someone to rest their legs, get a respite from the weather, or enjoy a snack in the snack area.  The most ironic item to remain is a Random Acts of Kindness sign located in the vacant lobby.  

Upon entering the library you’ll notice the overall lack of patrons that are usually accessing resources- digital and analog.  I’m not sure what exactly ‘happened’ but there is an absence of members of our community.  Community members I suspect are being targeted and discriminated against.  It’s not too hard to figure out what was possibly a catalyst if you follow local social media.  I’ll post images of what I believe was the catalyst in the photo above posted on the Arlington Texas Talk group from August 20th. 

This petition is to request the return of the furniture that was previously in the entry area of the George W. Hawkes Downtown Arlington Library and create a welcoming environment for all members of our community. The homeless population are members of our community and have the right to come and access resources. They should be not be ostracized or made to feel they are less welcome.  We should not be criminalizing homelessness. We should be providing help, support, and access to available resources. 

Criminalization measures violate homeless persons’ constitutional rights:

  • 1st Amendment protection of free speech - laws restricting speech like begging targets speech based on content, or does not allow for alternative channels of communication. 
  • 4th Amendment protection from unreasonable search and seizure - Law enforcement being allowed to destroy a homeless person’s belongings. 
  • 8th Amendment protection from cruel and unusual punishment - imposing criminal penalties for engaging in necessary life sustaining activities.  
  • 14th Amendment protecting citizenship, due process, and equal protection - Vague statutes which do not give a person notice of prohibited conduct and encourage arbitrary enforcement.   
0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!