In the midst of politics and media, it can be easy to lose sight of the core of the Right to Rest Act and why this legislation is necessary. Take a minute to re-read what the bill says along with the survey findings which grounded the rights in this bill.
EVERY PERSON IN THE STATE SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING BASIC HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS, WHICH MAY BE EXERCISED WITHOUT BEING SUBJECT TO CRIMINAL OR CIVIL SANCTIONS OR HARASSMENT BY LAW ENFORCEMENT, PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SECURITY PERSONNEL, OR DISTRICT AGENTS:
(a) THE RIGHT TO USE AND MOVE FREELY IN PUBLIC SPACES WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION OR TIME LIMITATIONS THAT DISCRIMINATE BASED ON HOUSING STATUS; 64% of survey respondents have been criminalized for sitting or lying down – 48% have been criminalized for park curfew – 52% report being harassed by police for “appearing homeless”
(b) THE RIGHT TO REST IN PUBLIC SPACES AND PROTECT ONESELF FROM THE ELEMENTS IN A NON-OBSTRUCTIVE MANNER; 70% of survey respondents have been criminalized for sleeping in public spaces
(c) THE RIGHT TO EAT, SHARE, ACCEPT, OR GIVE FOOD IN ANY PUBLIC SPACE WHERE FOOD IS NOT PROHIBITED; 23% of survey respondents have been harassed for giving for receiving free food
(d) THE RIGHT TO OCCUPY A MOTOR VEHICLE, PROVIDED THAT THE VEHICLE IS LEGALLY PARKED ON PUBLIC PROPERTY OR PARKED ON PRIVATE PROPERTY WITH THE PERMISSION OF THE PROPERTY OWNER; AND 24% of survey respondents have been criminalized for sleeping in a vehicle
(e) THE RIGHT TO A REASONABLE EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY ON ONE’S PERSONAL PROPERTY IN PUBLIC SPACES TO THE SAME EXTENT AS PERSONAL PROPERTY IN A PRIVATE RESIDENCE OR OTHER PRIVATE PLACE. 61% of survey respondents have had their belongings taken by police or city employees
ALL people deserve the right to rest!
Right for ALL, not special rights.
HB 15-1264 protects basic acts of rest, privacy of belongings, and sharing food for ALL Coloradan’s!
Come to the hearing (part 2) on April 27 at 1:30!
*The “survey” referred to is the Colorado Homeless People’s Rights Survey conducted by Denver Homeless Out Loud and partner organizations in 10 Colorado cities interviewing 431 people experiencing homelessness.