14 Sep

Episode 19 – Homelessness and DACA

Our DACA Peoples.

We’re back with a new episode, and we’re hitting all the top stories of the day. First, we give you our take on Trump and DACA, including his meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and what this might mean for the immigration debate. We briefly mention Ben Shapiro’s controversy laced speaking engagement up at Berkeley. We also delve into a bill which would raise the age someone could be paroled by the juvenile parole board. Then we move on to Anaheim’s declaration of emergency in response to the homelessness problem that’s been plaguing the city. Finally, we discuss Josh Newman and how he intends to respond to both gang violence and homelessness in our district.

US Story – Trump Makes Deal with Democrats on DACA

https://apnews.com/5ac2b359ee2a48ce8c9b08d5c77ae253/Democrats-say-they-have-deal-with-Trump-on-young-immigrants

  • Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer announced Wednesday that they’ve reached an agreement with President Trump over protecting DACA beneficiaries in exchange for added protections at the border.
    • Cements the protections of DACA through a bi-partisan DREAM Act, which will provide a path for eventual citizenship for DACA recipients.
      • “We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement.
    • The border wall was said to be off the table in this agreement.
      • Trump Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders disputes that fact.
  • “We don’t want to forget DACA,” Trump told the members at the meeting. “We want to see if we can do something in a bipartisan fashion so that we can solve the DACA problem and other immigration problems.”
  • Trump seems to want to make deals now with Democrats instead of simply pillorying them in the media.
    • Trump, who was deeply disappointed by Republicans’ failure to make good on years of promises to repeal “Obamacare,” infuriated many in his party last week when he reached a three-month deal with Schumer and Pelosi to raise the debt ceiling, keep the government running and speed relief to states affected by recent hurricanes.
    • He is playing off of his persona of a deal maker, much to the chagrin of Republicans.
      • It is unclear whether rank and file Republicans will go along with the DREAM Act.
        • The bill will require bi-partisan support to pass.
  • What does this mean for California?
    • California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, as well as several other groups, have filed lawsuits against the Trump Administration over the cancellation of the DACA program.
      • Will they abandon these lawsuits now?
      • How much money has the state wasted fighting this battle only to have it solve itself without any involvement from Becerra or the UC System?
      • Will they try to claim some kind of credit for this victory? My guess is yes.

California Story – Ben Shapiro at Berkeley

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-berkeley-protests-far-right-shapiro-20170914-htmlstory.html

  • People are losing their minds because Ben Shapiro is giving a speech at Berkeley — the origin of the free speech movement.

California Story – Legislature Wants to Raise the Juvenile Offender Age

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB1308

  • Assemblyman Mark Stone (D-Santa Cruz) introduced a bill that would effectively raise the age of juvenile offenders to 25.
  • Currently, because of AB-260 (https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB260) and SB-261 (https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160SB261), anyone 23 or under is considered a juvenile offender.
  • AB-1308 would raise this age to 25.
    • Under current law, certain inmates-who were under the age of 23 when committed a crime for which they received a lengthy or life sentence-are eligible for a youth offender parole hearing after serving a lengthy prison sentence. AB 1308 would align public policy with scientific research. This measure would expand eligibility of the youth parole hearing process to certain individuals who were 25 or under when they committed a crime for which they received a lengthy or life sentence for a youth offender parole hearing. Scientific evidence on adolescence and young adult development and neuroscience shows that certain areas of the brain, particularly those affecting judgment and decision-making, do not develop until the early-to mid-20s. Research has shown that the prefrontal cortex doesn’t have nearly the functional capacity at age 18 as it does at 25. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for a variety of important functions of the brain including: attention, complex planning, decision making, impulse control, logical thinking, organized thinking, personality development, risk management, and short-term memory. These functions are highly relevant to criminal behavior and culpability.
    • Since the passage of SB 260 and 261 motivation to focus on rehabilitation has increased. An offender is more likely to enroll in school, drop out of a gang, or participate in positive programs if they can sit before a parole board sooner, it at all, and have a chance of being released.
  • The argument essentially is that the human brain isn’t fully developed until the mid-20s. Given that fact, offenders who are sentenced to long or life sentences at a young age should be able to be paroled earlier via the juvenile parole board.
  • That might make sense…if it weren’t for all the existing laws and policies that place responsibility on people aged 18-25 or younger.
    • Medical providers aren’t required to tell parents about a variety of medical conditions affecting their children, like pregnancies, abortions, or if they have been abused.
    •  Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat.
    • Children who are 8 years of age OR have reached 4’9” in height may be secured by a booster seat, but at a minimum must be secured by a safety belt. (California Vehicle Code Section 27363.)
    • Passengers who are 16 years of age and over are subject to California’s Mandatory Seat Belt law.
    • Smoking & Drinking Age in CA is 21.
    • Driving is 16.
    • Marriage, Voting, Tattoos, Tanning Salons & Debt are 18.
    • However, a 14 year old can be tried as an Adult in Criminal Court.
    • Generally, any individual age 18 or older is considered an adult and treated as such in California. Depending on the circumstances, however, someone as young as 14 can be tried in the adult court system and sentenced to the California Department of Corrections (CDC) and housed in the California Youth Authority (CYA); and if 16 years old can be sent to prison. On the other hand, someone as old as 24 can be incarcerated as a juvenile in the CYA.
    • There are over 6,000 offenders incarcerated in the CYA who are age 18 or older. The CYA can accept juveniles younger than age 12 after a review by the CYA Director, however, these offenders generally are kept in the community under county probation supervision.

Orange County Story – Homelessness Grounds for State of Emergency in Anaheim

http://www.ocregister.com/2017/09/12/with-a-packed-audience-anaheim-council-weighing-plan-for-a-homeless-state-of-emergency/

  • The Anaheim City Council early Wednesday unanimously voted to declare a state of emergency on the city’s growing homeless issue — especially along the tent encampments that line the Santa Ana River Trail.
  • “It’s important that we realize this situation has gotten to a level that it is creating a crisis in our communities and that we cannot solely rely on the county to solve this problem,” said Councilwoman Kris Murray, who introduced the resolution called Operation Home Safe. “We have got to be willing to take it to the next level.”
  • “As they say the riverbed is a prison without walls and it’s true,” said Councilwoman Lucille Kring. “The people are living in squalor; they don’t want help so people who are addicted [to drugs], we need to gather them up and put them somewhere where they can get the help that they need.”
  • According to 211OC.org’s numbers, there are around 900 homeless in Anaheim, and half of those live in the Santa Ana Riverbed.
  • Mayor Kris Murray’s state of emergency resolution doesn’t actually do anything other than raising awareness.
    • It doesn’t release or allocate additional city funds to address the problem.
    • “As they say the riverbed is a prison without walls and it’s true,” said Councilwoman Lucille Kring. “The people are living in squalor; they don’t want help so people who are addicted [to drugs], we need to gather them up and put them somewhere where they can get the help that they need.”
  • Murray wants to add 100 beds to a local homeless shelter and build a 500-bed emergency shelter in cooperation with the county.
    • Getting the homeless out of the riverbed would allow the city to start enforcing the “no camping” ordinance.
  • The plan has some detractors on the council and elsewhere.
    • Councilman Jose Moreno voted in favor but seemed critical of parts of Murray’s resolution. He’s concerned about cost and that the plan discredits the work the council and staff have devoted on the  issue the past year.
    • A representative of the ACLU was against Murray’s proposal because it criminalizes people sleeping in public.
    • Members of the public were upset with the council’s lack of action on the issue.
      • It’s been a problem for basically a decade.
    • Homeless advocates attempted to shamed those who want to clean up the homeless problem.
  • What’s going to stop the homeless from just moving on to another city along the riverbed?

SD 29 Story – Newman Takes Touts His Public Safety Record

http://www.ocregister.com/2017/09/09/innovative-regional-approaches-offer-promise-on-local-public-safety-problems/

  • Josh Newman and Buena Park Police Chief Corey Sanchez claim the two biggest concerns Orange County is the rise in gang activity and the growing number of homeless people in their communities.
    • The first problem has spread anxiety and fear. The second problem has deepened cynicism about government’s ability to solve problems, in the process turning Orange County into something of a national symbol: one of the wealthiest regions in America stymied by a slow-motion crisis that has transformed the spaces near highway off-ramps and riverbanks into sprawling shantytowns.
  • They claim community leaders are ready to work with county officials to address this issue.
    • They’re not interested in engaging in the politics of rancor, or sugarcoating politically inconvenient facts, or issuing reports that end up merely gathering dust. They are rightfully expecting state and local governments to roll up their sleeves and find ways to work together that lead to creative and long-lasting answers.
  • Their plan is to create a multijurisdictional police pilot program focusing on gangs and homelessness.
    • The program has received $20 million in funding for 4 years.
    • Many of these cities already have dedicated gang units, so what will be different?
  • But the resources we’ve been applying to these efforts — and the overall approach — clearly isn’t enough. In 2015, Brea and Stanton saw a 51 percent and 23 percent rise in violent crime, respectively. In Buena Park and Anaheim, property crimes shot up 26 percent and 22 percent, respectively.
    • I WONDER IF THAT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH AB-109, PROP 47, and PROP 57. HMMM…I WONDER.
      • Prop 47 decriminalized several property crimes, like petty theft, shoplifting, and receiving stolen property (all under $950)
      • Prop 57 decriminalized many potentially gang related violent crimes.
        • If Prop. 57 passes, criminals convicted of the following crimes could be released from prison early: rape by intoxication, rape of an unconscious person, human trafficking involving sex acts with minors, drive-by shooting, assault with a deadly weapon, taking a hostage, domestic violence involving trauma, supplying a firearm to a gang member, lewd acts upon a child, hate crime causing physical injury, failing to register as a sex offender, arson causing great bodily injury, felon obtaining a firearm, discharging a firearm on school grounds and false imprisonment of an elder. Just to name a few.
        • http://www.ocregister.com/2016/10/27/prop-57-puts-every-californian-in-danger/
      • AB-109 allowed for many offenders to end their prison terms early.
  • Homelessness is an even trickier problem to measure. The street people suffering from drug and alcohol addiction and mental illness exist before our eyes. The mile upon mile of destitute camped along the Santa Ana River is our open wound. But what about the multitude sleeping in cars and huddled in motels? Whether the estimate is 5,000 chronic homeless or 35,000 hidden homeless, the problem in Orange County is growing.
  • We can order them to leave and dismantle their tents, as we are now doing near the Honda Center. But the homeless don’t vanish. They just pop up in another place. Shelters across the county provide beds for only a fraction of them. The problem has led to a staggering increase in emergency service calls to police.
    • The article goes on to outline…nothing. Absolutely nothing. Because the homeless problem is impossible to fix without making it more uncomfortable to be homeless.

 

 

 

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