Chico News and Review editor Melissa Daugherty today rebuked Chico City Mayor Sean Morgan’s performance in a recent Action News piece in which he mocks local homeless advocates (like Chico Friends on the Street) for providing sustenance to poor and displaced Chicoans (a spectacle that included a revealing and bizarre tirade against public feedings). Admonishing the Mayor’s views as “the very worst type of provincialism,” the editorial chronicles a number of the many “lowlights” of Morgan’s tenure on the City Council, including his role in pushing through anti-poor ordinances like criminalizing lying down in public while legalizing the confiscation of whatever meager belongings the poor might carry. Kudos to Melissa Daugherty for speaking truth to power in calling out the Mayor for his regressive politics, disenfranchisement of the poor, and callousness toward the plight of the city’s poorest. Fortunately for Morgan, the City Council has yet to pass an ordinance criminalizing public displays of idiocy. Read the editorial in its entirety here.
On March 6, Action News characterized Chico Friends on the Street (CFOTS) as a “guerilla” feeding group, claiming that our actions directly contribute to the litter problem in Chico. Inaccuracies in the report include pairing footage of a littered Lindo Channel with voiceover from the Plaza decrying the fact that “garbage is everywhere, it is left everywhere!” The fact of the matter is that CFOTS is diligent about picking up any and all trash generated from our activities as well as other litter in the Plaza. Watch the news report here: Guerilla Feeding
In response to the report, CFOTS requested that Action News provide a more accurate and balanced view of the situation. On March 11, Action News returned to the Plaza, this time to observe CFOTS at work, interviewing CFOTS founder Patrick Newman: Chico Group Helps Hungry Residents in Need
In response, Mayor Sean Morgan indicated publicly that in providing food and supplies to desperate citizens, CFOTS is “making the problem worse” and that “city leaders are prepared to take action.” Unfortunately, that action has nothing to do with alleviating poverty and everything to do with making the poor invisible. View the article here: Chico Mayor: City is Considering Options on Homeless Public Feedings
Chico Friends on the Street maintains that homeless folks have a right to use our public spaces and that attempts to demonize, criminalize, contain, and deprive poor people of basic needs and their constitutional rights is corrosive to our democracy and harmful to all. Read more about our Core Beliefs.