A group of Anaheim residents fed up with the exploding homeless encampments in Anaheim and along the Santa Ana River trail have been self-organizing on social media. They have launched an online petition on Change.org demanding enforcement of the anti-camping laws on the Santa Ana River trail – which is swamped with homeless encampments – and in city parks. The petition is directed at the County of Orange and the cities of Anaheim and Orange.
Launched yesterday, the petition has already garnered nearly 1,900 signatures as of this writing:
Their efforts have been picked up by the John and Ken Show on KFI-AM. Two of the lead organizers, Kevin George and Shaun Dove, were on John and Ken this afternoon to talk about their fight (go to the 15:30 mark in the podcast):
This is an instance where public opinion is racing ahead of where local elected officials stand. Voters want to help the homeless who will be helped, and want the rest removed from their parks, and they are tired of excuses and rationalizations from local government about how “complicated” the issue. They want action and are tired of paralysis in the face of ACLU threats, outreach efforts intended to persuade homeless encampment residents to become independent while simultaneously providing more amenities – and a failure to deal with the significant criminal element living in the encampments.
Folks like Kevin and Shaun are hard-working, law-abiding residents who have lived in Anaheim for many years and have concluded the only way to spur action by their city to enforce the law is to organize, speak out and apply pressure on local government to discharge its duty to the citizenry.