An Open Letter to City Council On Why We’re Still Here

I can’t imagine what you must think of us. After months of protests, sit ins, arrests, speeches, and presentations made by every agency in town all culminating in a Porto-potty and heavy sense of defeat, we are still here.  We are still speaking out. We are still asking you to reconsider the criminalization of our homeless brothers and sisters.

You may think that we are just rebels who sleep under bypasses and don’t shave our legs to stick it to the neoliberal, hegemonic, patriarchy, and though you may be right in that assumption, this is not why we are here. We show up here, wave our signs in the window as you close the curtain, scream at the top of our lungs against injustice, and surely give you something entertaining to talk about at dinner parties because we love this City. Sacramento—home of Molly Ringwald and Tom Hanks. Sacramento birthplace of the Pony Express and the very first tracks of the transcontinental railroad. Sacramento—city of trees and home of the world’s largest almond processing plant. Sacramento is a remarkable city.

I am a native Washingtonian who grew up in the outskirts of DC where even the anarchists are politicians. Two years ago I made a transient move to Sacramento, but I stayed because I love this city. And I believe in this city. And when you believe in something as tenaciously as I believe that Sacramento can and will be the city that overcomes homelessness, you fight for it. And I will continue to unabatedly fight for our community to unite and break the toxic choke chains of human instrumentality and the militarization of our society. Sacramento is bursting at the seams with emancipatory potential. This is not out of reach.

When I call my friends back home in DC, they tell me that I’m wasting my time in Sacramento. The homeless will always be arrested and treated with indignity. The activists will always be at heads with city officials. The people will never have a victory. And though, these are typical cynical remarks of a Washingtonian that I too may have shared at one point. Sacramento is my home now. This is the city I choose to invest in. And as a Sacramenten I believe in never accepting the status quo as good enough. I can’t imagine what you must think of us. But we think of you as holding the wellbeing of our precious community, our family, our comrades in your hands. Please don’t take that responsibility lightly.