This Week in the Mercury


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

R2DToo Supporters to Hales: Why Haven't We Been Allowed At the Table?

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Wed, Jan 8, 2014 at 10:09 AM

There's some animated back and forth at this morning's city council meeting, where Right 2 Dream Too supporters are pressing Mayor Charlie Hales hard on what they say is their lack of access to information.

"When can we have a seat at the table?" R2DToo board member Trillium Shannon asked the mayor. Shannon and two other supporters say the homeless rest area has been presented finalized arrangements, rather than participating in negotiations.

A property Hales' office floated on NW Hoyt "did not fit our needs," Shannon told Hales. "We have a model. That model involves people sleeping in tents. People have had their lives saved by coming upon Right 2 Dream Too."

At the same time, the advocates painted a picture of frequent police sweeps of homeless encampments in recent weeks, with personal IDs and other hard-to-replace items being snatched.

The mayor, who frequently is content to brush off criticisms by thanking people for their testimony, took exception to these characterizations. He's encouraged the advocates to speak with Josh Alpert, a member of his staff whom Hales says has been "working literally every waking minute," to bring a deal together.

Hales says advocates for the houseless haven't been more involved, in part, because of saber rattling from R2DToo attorneys.

"When someone is threatening to sue us, we have to be more careful," the mayor said.

Trillium pressed that notion, saying the organization has merely been hoping to enforce its settlement with the city. Again, the mayor stressed she should go up a floor and ask to meet with Alpert.

"We're talking about real estate negotations," the mayor said. "We're not going to settle them in this room."

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