Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2013

Wrap up: Bill 59 criminalizing homelessness, down for the count or just back to corners?

Bill 59 deferred:

Bill 59 would have made it illegal to lie down on the sidewalk. Introducer Councilmember Stanley Chang insisted it did not target the homeless. Councilmember Breene Harimoto asked who else lies down on the sidewalk?

After I made repeated loud and smug predictions that in spite of all morality and good sense the Honolulu City Council would pass Bill 59, the Council deferred the measure. It might come back, but probably not soon.

A lot of people of all stripes came out to oppose the measure. Here's a 5 minute wrap up of the testimony including an edit of Councilmember Breene Harimoto's very much appreciated statement about the bill. It's the very first time I've heard a councilmember oppose a bill on the grounds of morality.

Did the public outcry and testimony do the trick? Is this people power? Three committee councilmembers couldn't support the bill, but only one, Breene Harimoto, was actually opposed to the measure. Kymberly Pine's objection w…

New draft of Bill 59 criminalizing homeless worse than before, sure to pass on 11/19/13

Stanley Chang's wildly unconstitutional and ill-advised Bill 59 (making it illegal to lie down on a sidewalk) was redrafted and heard on October 29, 2013, before Honolulu City Council's Committee on Public Safety and Economic Development (PSED). Actually there was another draft with the same number by Councilmember Carol Fukunaga.

Testimony was heard (including my own) but the bill was deferred for a "harmonized" redraft incorporating the "best" of both current drafts. I've already stated my vehement opposition to this bill which directly challenges King Kamehameha's Law of the Splintered Paddle. That law is incorporated into the Hawaii State Constitution as "a unique and living symbol of the State's concern for public safety."

I had some hopes when it was deferred that the Council would save itself from embarrassment and litigation costs for the city by just forgetting about it and letting it die. That's what deferral often means…