Connecticut on its way to enact the “Homeless Bill of Rights”
June 12, 2013
Connecticut is on the cusp of enacting a major new law to protect people who are homeless from discrimination.
Last week, Connecticut lawmakers passed the “Homeless Person’s Bill Of Rights” at the literal 11th hour — 11:30pm on June 5th, one half hour before the legislative session ended. The bill, SB 896, a landmark piece of legislation to protect homeless individuals’ rights, adds homeless people as a protected class who can’t be discriminated against in employment, housing, or public accommodations. It also includes protections for homeless people to move freely in public spaces, such as parks and sidewalks, without being singled out for harassment by law enforcement officers.
Here are the bill’s seven protections:
(1) Move freely in public spaces, including on public sidewalks, in public parks, on public transportation and in public buildings without harassment or intimidation from law enforcement officers in the same manner as other persons;
(2) Have equal opportunities for employment;
(3) Receive emergency medical care;
(4) Register to vote and to vote;
(5) Have personal information protected;
(6) Have a reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her personal property; and
(7) Receive equal treatment by state and municipal agencies.
This is no symbolic victory, Michael Stoops, Director of Community Organizing at the National Coalition for the Homeless, explained. “Homeless people are regularly discriminated against in employment and housing,” Stoops told ThinkProgress.
Nate Fox, Project Supervisor for Faces Of Homelessness Connecticut, a group that advocated for the bill, hailed its passage. “Currently, there are certain civil liberties that could be automatically wiped out when you walked into a homeless shelter,” Fox told ThinkProgress. This bill not only fixes that unintended side effect of shelters and other homeless services, it’s also “changed the conversation on how to protect homeless persons’ rights,” Fox said.
The bill now awaits Gov. Dan Malloy’s (D) signature before it can take effect at its scheduled date of October 1, 2013. It will not only play a major role in preventing discrimination against homeless people; it could also have an effect on municipalities like Hartford which currently have anti-loitering and anti-panhandling ordinances.
If it ultimately becomes law, Connecticut will become just the second state in the nation to enact a Homeless Person’s Bill of Rights. Last year, Rhode Island became the first state to do so. Illinois could increase the number to three if Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signs a bill which passed the legislature recently, and other states like Oregon and Delaware are considering similar legislation.
A Homeless Bill of Rights is also pending in California. Last month the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee approved the legislation but the Appropriations Committee put it on hold until January 2014.
With the regular harassment homeless people in California (especially those living on Skid Row) & in other states face, this kind of Bill of Rights legislation could help protect basic human rights like the freedom of movement, healthcare & employment.
The international symbol for “maybe I’ll make two sandwiches, not sure just yet”
Graduation Day at Sing Sing prison
Here’s an amazing statistic for you, about recidivism rates.
Of the 26,867 inmates who left New York prisons in 2008, nearly 40 percent returned to prison within 3 years. However, there are important exceptions: Among those are the maximum security inmates behind the walls of Sing Sing in Ossining, NY who have obtained a masters degree in Professional Studies — a one-year graduate degree administered by the New York Theological Seminary. Their recidivism rate over 31 years has been just 10 percent. The rate for those who’ve left with a degree in the last five years? ZERO.
“Education,” said Dale Irvin, the president of New York Theological Seminary, “is the surest indicator of low recidivism rates.”
Listen in to the latest Micropolis story and hear how a number of people — including convicted murderers — have turned their lives around while becoming assets to the prison community.
I really don’t understand how society does not accept that education is the most necessary thing for it to promote, and provide for people. Yes that should include a college education. I shouldn’t be going into enormous debt just to get a college degree from a state school.
dragon ball z cakeballs
ummm remember when i tried to make cake balls covered in carmalized sugar and it didn’t work?!?!
TELL ME THIS SECRET
After you make the cake balls, put them in the freezer. They shouldn’t be completely hard but they should be stiff. Not so much so that you can’t get the stick in though.
I am actually salivating
I want those in my mouth!!
Revitalization: Recent Big City Purchases
Local real-estate development company FFZ Holdings, LLC recently purchased the Outer Harbor Elevator (pictured above) for nearly $500,000. The company is also developing properties on Seneca Street, Ohio Street, the former Bethlehem Steel site, area charter schools, and the Cobblestone District.
Other significant city purchases include the $1.3 million purchase of the historic Dun Building on Pearl, widely recognized as Buffalo’s first high rise, by locally owned Priam Enterprises; and the combined $1.3 million purchase of two locations on Elm and Delaware by one of Buffalo’s developer titans - Carl Paladino’s Ellicott Development Company. It’s important to recognize that all three of these companies are locally owned and operated and are all prime examples of how the city of Buffalo is reinvesting in itself.
Photograph © Greg Meadows
“Love the fetus, hate the child.”
America makes it near impossible for a woman to stay autonomous—hard to get family planning resources/make the choice of getting an abortion, and harder to get child care support after the baby is born. Leaving women destitute and dependants everywhere.
Look at Canada! Not only do we give almost a full year off, it can be either maternity or paternity. That’s right, daddy can stay home with the baby while the mother goes back to work. And the leave can be also be split between them. For example, the mother could take six months, and then the father could take the other six. Did I also mention that the parent on leave continues to receive pay and is guaranteed their job back?