Holiday Report from Individuals For Justice Week ending 12/29/2012
I had to go to the Mall. This is a place I usually avoid with great happiness; I don't like any Mall. Patty my companion on this crazy journey called living wanted dark chocolate candies from See's and the Mall is the place to go. The sales staff were nice to me and they gave me a piece of what looked and tasted like dark chocolate, as I paid the price for a pound of wonderful looking sweet things that would have sent my diabetes reading off the charts. I was glad to get back on the Max and out of the den of capitalism. I did find this wonderful woman who was selling ear warmers from Nepal, and I bought one for Patty to keep her ears warm. The woman looked happy and that made the trip worthwhile. Wednesday was coming and I had gifts to wrap, decorations to put up as the kids, and grandkids would be over on Christmas Eve to open their gifts. I like having young people around to open gifts; their eyes are always wide, even when they are teenagers. Wednesday was going to be fun, instead of hanging around City Hall, I would be laughing and being jolly at home. Christmas is a day of giving for the Walshs and that always makes me smile. I did get a new and fancy backpack with supports around the waist. I had requested one because my old one was causing some shoulder pain. I got lots of art stuff to make posters and T-shirts; the 4+1 S---s are not going to be happy. Christmas Eve and Christmas was full of love for family and that always makes this world a better place. Friday was our Chapman Park hour and this time I had a Thermos, another gift from Patty, to hold about 15-20 cups of hot chocolate or coffee. My grandson had offered to go and that made me have a big smile. Off we went, Roberto was good enough to pick us up. With Kathy and Brendon, I felt like Santa going with gifts and hot chocolate for all who needed them. It was once again great fun as Jose, Donna, and others were at the Park. We had a time, laughing, playing and I tried to sing but people moved away from me as I tried. We had much fun but it was cold. My wish for the New Year is that politicians will start to listen to the people on the streets when it comes to how to solve this terrible problem of people living very precarious lives. We shall continue to pressure City Hall, the County and now the governor to get off their asses and think outside the box.
There was no meeting of the County Board, they were with their families and enjoying themselves, and that is good. We also attended a meeting called by Denis Rivers and it was wonderful.
I read about it on line and it peaked my interest because I do want to be more relaxed when confronting politicians and this concept just might be the ticket to harmony for me. There were only a few of us who came together but we did leave with great hope and joy in our hearts, at least I did. Thanks you Barbara Baker and all who shared and explained their struggles in life. I have much work to do, it would be so good not to feel spiritually and emotionally exhausted after a City Council meeting. I do try to laugh when I am in their den of corruption but it does wear me down to see such blatant hypocrisy in one place. I like the idea of sharing my journey with a special person who is willing to walk along side of me. There is much to learn and I should begin.
Thursday, January 2 the City Council will gather again, and we have two noble souls who will be allowed to address the "Rubber Stamp Gang" for 90 seconds. Jose Serrica and Michael Withey are willing to sit in the hot seat, at least we must support them, come before 0930 and let them know you care about what is happening to our citizens who find themselves on the streets with no place to go. A six month waiting list to get help is not good enough, something new has to happen. These are two people who know what they are talking about; they have been on the streets and are not just using fancy language to let you know they have a degree or PHD. Listen carefully Commission Saltzman, because after you waste 1.7 million dollars people will want to know why?
We will return to Chapman Park this Friday, but we are thinking of moving around town to other camp sites, Jose is working on some concepts and we shall see. There are many things you can do to help:
1. From your home, call the City Council each Monday and ask what they are doing new to get people off our streets, here is what our neighbor to the north is trying: http://www.theolympian.com/2013/12/24/2901222/a-christmas-eve-to-remember-as.html
2. Come to the City Hall meeting and sit with us who monitor what they are doing week in week out, the more who take the time to be present the better.
3. Jose, Mark, Mike and others are trying to help the houseless, give what you can in money or clothes until we get through the cold weather. The emergency shelters are full and people are cold.
4. If you are religious, say a prayer that we don't lose too many souls to the cold weather this year and that the cops and ODOT will stop their punishing ways.
5. Call the Business Alliance and ask them to help us and not just yell at city hall to do something about the people living on our streets. We share our limited resources, why can't they?
"That's all Folks" Don't give up, this could be a wonderful place to live for all of us, we just need to try harder and stop patting ourselves on the back, as long as one person is cold and/or hungry we have failed.