A Sacramento ballot measure plans to address the divisive issue of homelessness.
The “Emergency Temporary Shelter and Enforcement Act of 2022,” filed by Daniel Conway, a former chief of staff to then Sacramento city Mayor Kevin Johnson, would make encampments illegal unless it is an emergency shelter. According to the filing, the measure would also amend health and safety codes with the goal of forcing the city “to take immediate steps to enforce its laws and protect the interests of all of its citizens." Conway says he expects a “broad coalition” of businesses and labor groups to back and finance the measure, along with significant signature-gathering effort to qualify the measure.
The measure is a direct opportunity for Sacramento residents to file claims against the city for failing to maintain public space ordinances that are affected by homeless encampments, and would allow a more direct process for residents to vote on reform measures. Benchmarks for the city would have to be followed, including the city manager needing to identify and authorize shelter space equal to at least 75% of Sacramento’s total homeless population within 60 days of the measure taking effect if passed, and city codes for abating nuisance properties needing to be strengthened.
The measure still needs a number of signatures to qualify for the November ballot.