Proud activist of Occupy Portland, and former mayoral candidate, Cameron Whitten is now entering his 25th day of a hunger strike to bring attention to housing justice issues. On the 30th day anniversary of his hunger strike, Sunday July 1st, community members from all around Portland will join Whitten for a Slumber Party at City Hall. Encircling Portland City Hall with sleeping people will show city officials, and Portlanders coming to work in the morning, how fining individuals for sleeping is unacceptable. Sleep and shelter are human rights and everyone deserves a safe place to rest. From Whitten’s letter to Portland city commissioners:
I protest for housing justice. Not just in advocacy of the homeless, but for the prosperity and survival of the entire working class. Housing is a basic human need, cheaper to fund than incarceration or war. Yet, we seem to always fall short in supply. Our resources aren’t limitless, but there are avenues which we haven’t tried, or turn a blind eye to.
Whitten’s Grievances for Redress are the following:
1. For City Commissioner Dan Saltzman to withdraw the fines on the co-owners of the Right 2 Dream Too Rest Area, and to seek a peaceful resolution for this cost-free solution to homelessness for the remainder of the lease agreement.
2. For City Council to propose a housing levy measure to the November 2012 General Election ballot.
3. For Sheriff Daniel Staton to issue a 1-year moratorium on evictions for bank foreclosures in Multnomah County.
Whitten’s hunger strike has already gained national attention from the Associated Press, on July 1st Portlanders have the opportunity to continue to shine the light on those whom our policymakers often prefer to keep out of sight and out of mind. Take action, show your solidarity, support the Vigil, tell Cameron to stay healthy, and enjoy some good company at the Slumber Party on July 1st!
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