Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers is your typical Republican who doesn’t want to help anyone, he wants them removed from sight.
At the mayor’s request, Colorado Springs city officials are working on an ordinance to ban people from sitting or lying on sidewalks, planters or anywhere else not specifically designed to be sat upon in downtown Colorado Springs and in Old Colorado City.
"I don't see this as a civil rights or human rights issue. No one ought to be able to lie on the sidewalk. We ought to make our sidewalks safe for passage so people don't feel obstructed or harassed. I just don't see that it's anti-homeless to say you can't lie or sit on sidewalks." — John Suthers
So, I’m guessing he’ll have police out in force to move people along who shouldn’t be sitting where there isn’t a chair, or lying down where there isn’t a clearly designated Please Lie Down Here sign. Of course, it might be just as easy to create places for people to sit, but sit it’s mostly homeless folks sitting there, why not just get rid of them and make the “rest of us” feel safer knowing that we don’t have to see homelessness and therefore don’t have to deal with it.
And, of course, keep in mind that may homeless are LGBTQ youth kicked out of their homes for being LGBTQ, so this is just a way to rid the streets of anyone who is heterosexual, I guess. And let’s not also forget that many homeless are vets, who returned from fighting overseas suffering from PTSD and cannot get adequate medical care — don’t get me started on that VA mess — and therefore have to live in the streets; move along, soldier.
And what makes this even mode disgusting, is that Suthers has made no effort to see about housing the homeless, finding them a place where they can sit down, or even lie down; he just wants them gone.
And there is evidence, even in Colorado, that it’s actually cheaper to house the homeless than to shoo them off the streets. The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless estimates that state taxpayers spend $43,240 per homeless individual — and 2012 estimates say there are 17,000 homeless people in the state — each year on everything from emergency health care to legal issues. But, if the state of Colorado were to provide places for the homeless to gather and sit and even sleep, the cost drops to just $16,813 per person, less than half the cost of leaving them on the streets.
But, Mayor John Suthers doesn’t care about that, possibly because homeless people don’t vote so they mean nothing to him.
Colorado Springs Mayor, and Republican, of course, John Suthers: the ISBL asshat of the Week.