Overview of August 1st City Council meeting: Addressing Homelessness Crisis

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On Tuesday August 1st, the Sacramento City Council held a special meeting to decide on how the crisis of homelessness will be addressed. The Metro Chamber attended the full meeting, which began at 12:30 and ran for over six hours. We were joined by many other stakeholder organizations, as the business community came out in force to provide public comment supporting both of the items outlined below. After a marathon session with spirited discussion from the dais and the floor, both items passed: a tremendous win for our community.

Item 4 gives the City Manager authority to update departmental homeless response protocols and enforce provisions of the city code, including ordinances about critical infrastructure, sidewalks, and storage of personal property on public property. The Metro Chamber believes that the City Manager already had this authority but nonetheless supported the item with testimony which you can find here at the 1:34:05 mark.

  • This item passed without amendments 7-2, with Councilmembers Valenzuela and Vang voting in opposition.

Item 5 was discussion and action to pass an ordinance which gives the City Manager the authority to identify and open new temporary shelter sites throughout the city without having to return to Council. This item also prompted spirited discussion from the dais and the floor and included testimony from the Metro Chamber which you can find here at the 3:40:45 mark.

  • The ordinance passed 5-4, with amendments, and Councilmembers Kaplan, Loloee, Talamantes, and Vang voting in opposition.
  • Notable amendments included good neighbor policies for new shelter sites and the inclusion of a buffer zone to prevent camping directly surrounding safe ground sites.
  • While the authority was granted to the City Manager as outlined in the item, Council urged City Manager Chan to engage councilmembers and the City Attorney in the process.

We are pleased with the outcomes of this meeting but are very aware that there is still much work to do. The Metro Chamber will continue to be engaged in and closely monitoring the situation.

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