After years of opposition and legal protest, the sit/lie ordinance finally died last month, when Chief Rosie Sizer suspended enforcement of the law a few days after a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge declared the shuffle-along policy unconstitutional.
As The Oregonian put it, "quashing the city's sidewalk obstruction ordinance has thrown Portland's delicate balance of dealing with homeless people on downtown streets into disarray." So will the city resurrect the "delicate balance" of forcibly moving along people who are both sleeping and homeless or will it take a whole new approach to the city's destitute?
Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish are holding two discussion sessions this coming week titled, diplomatically, "Sharing Spaces." The discussion agenda is to get public input on what the Street Access for Everyone (SAFE) committee should be doing now that its primary enforcement mechanism got canned. From the city:
Possible discussion ideas:
- What are SAFE Recommendations - Areas of agreement, areas of disagreement?
- How are services coordinated/who does what in the City?
- What services are needed/missing/need enhancements?
- Who needs to be at the table?
- What issues are outstanding?
There will be two community meetings with identical content on:
>>Saturday, July 18 from 10a.m. to 12p.m at Kaiser Town Hall
3704 N. Interstate, Portland.
>>Tuesday, July 21 from 7p.m to 9p.m. at First Unitarian Church
1011 SW 12th Ave, Portland.