I wrote the following letter in response to this article
Dear Mayor Arreguin,
When I voted for you, I hoped you would represent progressive, not regressive values. I consider that the attempt to force people living in their campers, buses or RVs on or near Gilman St., to relocate, is a regressive move. The Washington Post quoted you as calling their existence a “blight” and some kind of safety risk. What is the safety risk?
If the city could put up a few portable toilets and hand-washing stations, it would cost less than policing, and the psychic cost would be less too. The article quoted someone as complaining that: “I paid a million dollars for my place, and they have a better view.” This is not about a view. Where else should these people go? You were quoted as saying that there was no “space” for them, but the homeless have already found spaces. You are just trying to chase them out of those spaces.
I never thought I would say this, but Walmart has more of a heart than my city does (allowing people to camp/live in their parking lot(s).
L. E., 30-year Berkeley resident.
Note: Although Walmart’s corporate policy has been and currently is to allow RV parking whenever possible, campers should be aware that permission to park is granted by individual store managers. Local ordinances may prohibit overnight parking, and many Walmart’s are located on private property whose landlords may also not allow it.