Update 1/20/2010: In response to this petition and protesting by on-the-ground activists in Boulder, Mayor Susan Osborne and the City Council last night directed the city manager to prepare an emergency ordinance suspending enforcement of the camping ticket regulation.
Update 1/26/2010: Mayor Osborne is backsliding on her promise to review a moratorium on camping tickets, saying she felt "boxed in" by petitioners and protestors. Read the open letter to the mayor and keep the pressure on!
Update 2/3/2010: Unfortunately, the mayor and city council of Boulder decided not to institute a moratorium. Activists on the ground are not giving up. You please don't either.
Update 6/28/2010: The ACLU has filed suit against Boulder on behalf of a homeless man who turned away from the local shelter and them ticketed for using a sleeping bag in 11 degree weather. The end of this unfair ordinance could be near — with your continued support.
Normally a leader in progressive social policies, the city of Boulder now enforces a law both unconstitutional and ineffective that fines the homeless for camping. Though the number of homeless in the region far exceeds available shelter beds, the city insists that fining its unsheltered citizens is the most effective way to promote health and safety.
Tell Mayor Susan Osborne to enact a moratorium on this unjust ordinance now.
The numbers speak for themselves. As of August of 2009, the city had issued 1,583 camping tickets in the last 4 years. Only 149 of these tickets have been paid. To repeat, less than 10% of all tickets given were paid. But, and this is where it gets interesting, violators of this law spent a total of 1,516 nights in jail because they simply couldn't pay the fine. Is the point of this law really to promote health and safety in the city, as officials have said, or is it to hide the homeless in the local jail?
Join the local and national coalition of activists, the homeless and passionate allies to create a new and better law. It's not enough for the leadership of Boulder to claim they support the needs of their most vulnerable citizens. Now is the time for Mayor Osborne and the City Council to lead by action and make meaningful change for the better. Tell them to enact an immediate moratorium against the camping law to end criminalization of homelessness in Boulder.
Noah Jennings started this petition with a single signature, and now has 8,769 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.