It’s “Happening” Despite The City’s Best Efforts – Chico Enterprise-Record

On a reasoned trajectory, we try to stay the course. On a political trajectory, principle tends to be negotiable and pivoting abundant.

And so it is with Chico’s new Pallet-shelter facility, on the front page, with a photo op for two city leaders – and this:”[Mayor] Coolidge said this project was something that had been talked about for years and the city was finally working towards a solution.

Yes, the BMX site has been “talked about for years”, but not with a particle of support from any of the men (Coolidge, Orme, Gustafson) featured in this story. It was advocates, chiefly Charles Withuhn, who proposed villages of tiny houses, campgrounds and secure parking on BMX and other sites, only to meet increasingly predictable rejection year after year. . Any suggestion that something is “finally” happening is best understood as eventually happening despite the city’s best efforts to prevent it from happening. Not for a year or two, but closer to 10 years.

Here’s another pivot from Mr. Coolidge: “I think it shows we can move forward with compassion…” Looking at a hundred council meetings and our history of medieval reactions to homelessness – with Coolidge as the one of our most enthusiastic proponents of criminalization – the word “compassionate” sounds a little fanciful, perhaps particularly in the context of a litigation-driven delivery of 1,500 meters of road base and 177 plastic boxes .

I’m not saying it’s impossible to be knocked off your horse (Acts 9:3-9), but neither did I fall off the last turnip truck.

—Patrick Newman, Chico

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