Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mayor Goodman not so Good after all

Mayor Oscar Goodman is so concerned with his reputation as mayor of Las Vegas, he has resorted to picking on the homeless. He has said that the homeless are ruining things for the neighbors by breaking the law while on drugs and alcohol. He has, according to Greg Malm a 58 year old homeless man "made every homeless person public enemy No.1". He wants the homeless people to use the shelters instead of the city parks. He went as far as to make it illegal to feed the poor in the parks back in July, fining anyone who did $1,000.00. He said that if that person was "a reasonable ordinary person" that could receive public assistance, they had no business taking free food from those offering it in the park. He went on to call advocates of the poor who fed them "enablers crying like bleating sheep". He went on to say (about the poor) "I won't coddle them." Once the ACLU challenged Mayor Goodman's ordinance, it was reversed.

I used to be the director of a non-profit organization that assisted the low income families of our state. I can tell you that just because assistance is offered, doesn't mean it is all-encompassing. And once you apply for assistance, it isn't immediate. Your name has to get into the system and that takes time. You can offer as many programs as you want, it will not get people off the street. The problem with the homeless is multi-facit. There is not a cut-n-dry answer for it. There has always been the poor and homeless and there always will be the poor and homeless. My sister and her husband run a ministry in Boise that hands out biscuits and hot coffee to the homeless in their town. I can't imagine the mayor saying they are like bleating sheep for wanting to help.

I am proposing that in honor of the good mayor, you do something in your town to fill the bellies of the homeless. Go to a park and give out 10 McDonalds burgers-they cost a dollar a piece. You can feed 10 for that and be doing a service in the name of Mayor Goodman. In fact, tell them it is from Mayor Goodman.