Today was awesome. I was able to experience the final town hall meeting and city council hearing concerning the local tent city.
Several months ago the zoning committee found it illegal to have a shelter in an area zoned as “heavy industrial”. The conclusion was repealed and brought before the city council who, in turn, did much research, met with many people, and put much thought into the pressing issue. Today’s final meeting was the only one I attended (I even skipped school) throughout the whole process and it was a delightful experience!
Six believers from my school, Felix (from last week!), and I met at 6:30 for breakfast at a small Mexican restaurant to enjoy some wonderful breakfast burritos and pancakes. We made it to city hall a few minutes late and had to sit in a small room and watch the meeting occur on a projector because there were so many people expressing their concern over the fate of tent city!
After many speeches, many questions, several recesses, and some rest at Grace’s, we found ourselves at city hall one last time. The crowds had thinned out by 1:30, and we were finally able to sit in the large room where the discussion actually took place. One of the council members was gone for a funeral, so it would take all six members present to overturn the zoning committee’s conclusion and allow tent city to continue. Everyone had to vote the same way!
Well that wasn’t really a problem. All morning powerful speeches had been made that affirmed the public’s obvious stance on the issue: tent city is a valuable resource available for the homeless and should continue to be a source of security, community, and progress.
The whole room erupted in clapping a cheers, followed by a mass exodus. Now that the tent city conflict was resolved and righteousness was preserved, nobody wanted to stay for the rest of the boring agenda.