Activist Cameron Whitten has reached an agreement with City Council to end his hunger strike. Come out to City Hall tomorrow (Thursday) at 10am and bring an empty stomach for a special event! Read the the full news here:
Commemorating the birthday of social critic and award-winning author Aldous Huxley, Portland activist Cameron Whitten has declared a determined end date for his Hunger Strike at City Hall. The 24/7 camping demonstration was launched on June 2nd, and has been fairly reminiscent of last Fall’s Occupation of Downtown Public Squares. After 55 Days, Whitten’s weight has dropped to 159 of an initial 193.7 pounds: shedding 34.7 pounds in total…
Whitten, a former Mayoral Candidate, student, and active volunteer, said he felt the exponentially growing housing crisis was not receiving enough visibility, “There are less safe places for Portlanders to sleep, which contributes to crime, mental health issues, lower quality of living, and death.” The statistics of homelessness in Multnomah County are staggering.
2,727 people are experiencing homelessness
1,928 are sleeping in transitional housing
35% are unsheltered families with children
46% are people of color
12% are U.S. military veterans
Total 4,655 people as identified by the Portland/Multnomah County “Point-In Time Study,” 2011
Whitten notes a number of groundbreaking victories for Housing Justice have occurred over the past 55 Days:
- Renewed visibility to the housing crisis, promotion of “Housing First” policy.
- Located services for various houseless individuals.
- July 1 Slumber Party, where over 70 housing advocates slept outside City Hall.
- July 20 Rally at Terry Schrunk Park, with over 200 attendees.
- Initiation of legal procedures on behalf of Right 2 Dream Too.
- New Dialogue on Housing Reform, such as Steve Novick’s Eminent Domain proposal (which Whitten promoted during his Primary campaign).
- Public Letter from Mayor Sam Adams, announcing an Annual Regional Housing Summit, TBA.
…Whitten is planning an open Press Conference to declare his victory, on the steps of City Hall. Thursday, July 26th at 10AM, supporters will be able to observe him scarf down his first item of solid food in the past 55 Days. He hasn’t clued anyone in on what it will be, but you can be sure it will be vegan.
Be sure to make it down to City Hall 10am tomorrow morning (Thursday, July 26th)!