Present: Neal, Bud, Cheryl, Alan, Sam R, Robert, Marvin, Ashley, Cindy.
Quijote Village Visit: Cheryl discussed the visit to Quijote Village (QV) that several members of our development team made. QV has good community relations, and we can learn from their experiences. They are willing to provide advice.
Seattle Visitors and Discussion: We had several visitors from Seattle who have had experience with Share/Wheel tent cities, as well as with other places. They gave us a lot of information, were very articulate and generous. They offered to come up again if we needed them to do so.
Marvin discussed the finances involved in running a tent city. He talked about fundraising. We should not just ask for funds in general. We can ask for support of specific items, such as payment of a use fee, payment of ports-potties, etc.
Ashley discussed the importance of making positive contacts with the media and getting them on our side. We said one of the local columnists, Matt Driscoll, seemed sympathetic to the idea of a tent city and had written several articles about it. He also attended one of the TCT meetings. As we get more off-the-ground, we expect he will take us more and more seriously.
The Seattle visitors agreed that the most urgent problem to solve is waste disposal. We need adequate toilet and dumpster facilities and to make sure they are being used appropriately. Other important needs are transportation. We can ask supporters to contribute bus passes and a camp car for more urgent situations. The EC (executive committee) members have very short terms, maybe a couple of weeks. They may not hold this office more than 30 out of 60 days.
On Aug 3, we will have a meeting with one of Senator Patti Murray’s aides, Ms Carol Pfeiffer. Our Seattle visitors advise asking for “assistance” for specific items instead of money. Marvin emphasized the importance of this. He also emphasized not asking FEMA for funds. Instead, we ask for “assistance” for specific items.
Sam says the most important thing for TCT is to find a site for the first camp. Some possible church hosts are hesitant to be the first unless there is a second, because they don’t want to tell us that a camp has to move at the end of 90 days if there is no new site already lined up.
Sam and the other Seattle visitors suggest we tell the church 2 things:
- It would be the law, not the church, telling us to move.
- If, after we’re set up and the church develops “buyers’ regret,” or if there are problems we can’t address at that site, we are prepared to move within 24 hours if asked, even if we have no other site lined up.
Respectfully submitted: Alan OldStudent