Petition Closed

On August 6 the City Council of the City of Palo Alto, California passed an ordinance which makes it a crime to sleep in your car. This represents yet another attempt to criminalize poverty and homelessness in this country. If you are found sleeping in your car (which you own) you will be fined up to $1000 (which you probably do not have because you are homeless) or sentenced to jail (in a state with an overcrowding of prisons so bad that the US Supreme Court has ordered it to release inmates).

My mother was homeless and lived in her car for quite some time. Before she was able to obtain a vehicle she was on the streets. She was robbed in broad daylight while trying to get some sleep on the beach, she came to me with blisters as big as rocks on her arms from sun exposure, and she could not get good enough sleep to enable her to even attempt to try and get out of her situation. If people cannot sleep in her cars, where can they sleep? They will get tickets for sleeping on the concrete or in parks as well. Where can they go??

This ordinance is inhumane, illogical, and just plain ridiculous. Please sign this petition to urge the City Council to reverse this ordinance and put its resources towards other things such as the provision of shelter, food, clothes, mental health services, and rehab, for homeless individuals; not their criminalization. It is not a crime to be poor. Thank you.

Letter to
Palo Alto City Hall, 7th floor 250 Hamilton Avenue Palo Alto, CA Mayor Greg Scharff
Palo Alto City Council Dena Mossar
Palo Alto City Council Jack Morton
and 8 others
Palo Alto City Council Larry Klein
Palo Alto City Council Peter Drekmeier
Palo Alto City Council LaDoris H. Cordell
Palo Alto City Council Bern Beecham
Palo Alto City Council John Barton
Palo Alto City Council Yoriko Kishimoto
Palo Alto City Council Judy Kleinberg
City Council Palo Alto City Council
Please reverse this inhumane Vehicle Habitation Ordinance. What are people who have no homes supposed to do? The shelters are overcrowded and cannot fit all of the homeless people in the city. Would you rather someone sleep on the street where there is more danger to their lives and/or property? Why would you ban someone from sleeping in a locked vehicle which they own and have them go outside or in the already overcrowded and overworked criminal "justice" system instead? This is the most illogical ordinance I have ever heard of! How do you think homeless people are going to be able to pay this $1000 fine? They are homeless for a reason! Resources would be better spent on providing more homeless shelters and beds for folks as opposed to spending them on police to enforce this ridiculousness. I read one of the reasons for this ordinance was because homeless people sleeping in cars make residents scared. By passing this ordinance you are essentially saying that these peoples lives matter more. That homeless lives do not matter. This is wrong, inhumane, and unjust. If your concern is drugs or prostitution, you already have the ability to police that. There is absolutely no good reason for this ordinance and I urge you to reverse it. It is criminal.

Porcia Thurston started this petition with a single signature, and now has 5,385 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.