Sacramento City Council long shots take the competition to task over homeless policies

Russell Rawlings, Jenn Rogar call for repeal of anti-camping ban

Independent political candidates Russell Rawlings and Jenn Rogar confronted the competition over the Sacramento City Council’s unpopular homeless policies last Tuesday night during public comment, staking out their platforms in the process.

Both mayoral candidate Rawlings and District 4 candidate Rogar oppose the city’s anti-camping ban, as well as the closure of public restrooms. Regarding the latter, Rogar, a teacher and activist who is seeking Councilman Steve Hansen’s seat, said the city was forcing homeless residents to eliminate their waste “in alleys, near homes and businesses who have borne the brunt of the crisis,” creating a potential public health risk. “You’re making the problem worse, not better with your anti-camping ordinance and locked bathrooms,” she added.

Rawlings made light of the idea to send the city’s recently established committee on homelessness on a field trip to examine portable restrooms in San Francisco. “Honestly, I think that work could be done without traveling,” he said to audience laughter.

He urged the council to consider permanent self-cleaning restrooms and questioned the commission’s transparency, saying his attempts to reach out have been ignored.