A Message from Council Member Sawant’s aide, Adam Ziemkowski:
Speaker after speaker at the hearing demanded the City Council put an end to the sweeps of homeless encampments, and tax big business to fund services and affordable housing. What we heard in the public hearing was a majority of ordinary people speaking with one voice that no one should be penalized for being poor and unhoused.
After that decisive hearing, there can be no doubt in the minds of the Councilmembers as to what their constituents want them to do. People are demanding a stop to the inhumane and ineffective sweeps, and a tax on big business to fund affordable housing and services. If the Councilmembers still go ahead and pass a business as usual budget, they would be willfully turning a deaf ear to the voices of working people, homeless people, and the most marginalized.
Despite the colder weather upon us, the untimely tragic death of sixty six people living outside this year already, and the resounding demand for an end to the sweeps, it is shameful that Mayor Burgess has chosen to re-commit to continuing the sweeps. He has also chosen to engage in fearmongering by implying that a modest tax on the biggest corporations would be detrimental to jobs.
After the public hearing, well over a hundred activists stayed inside City Hall all night, and continued workshops and discussions. It’s a moral and political victory for our movement that we peacefully occupied City Hall all night.