Tell the Johnson City Commission not to discriminate against the city's homeless!
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The Johnson City Commission has proposed ordinance 4659-18 which would openly discriminate against the city's homeless. The proposed ordinance would levy a fine to anyone found "camping" or "laying down bedding" on city property-- to include sidewalks and city parks.
Johnson City, Tennessee's downtown has experienced significant economic success, but further success should not come at the expense of the less fortunate. And while Johnson City is a great place to live, work, and play, resources are scarce for those who have lost everything. There aren't enough beds in shelters for people who need them. There aren't enough doctors and medical facilities that treat the homeless-- to include any illness, mental illness, and addiction. Many shelters aren't safe and frequently those who need space to stay timeout at a shelter and are forced to wait to stay there again.
While economic growth is important, the way to address the issue of homelessness is to address the root causes. It is discriminatory and unconstitutional for the city to pass an ordinance giving the police the jurisdiction to levy a fine against the homeless simply for existing on public property. Ordinances like these have consistently been overturned in other cities around the nation and the tax payers of Johnson City shouldn't have to foot the bill to defend an unconstitutional ordiance.
By signing your name you are telling the Johnson City Commission that you support better options than proposed ordinance 4659-18. Tell them you want them to table this ordinance at the May 3, 2018 Johnson City Commission meeting until a better, more viable, and constitutional solution can be passed that meets everyone's needs.
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