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2. Ban Daytime Camping

When we allow daytime camping it has the unintended consequence of creating ever-growing encampments, enabling crime, increasing substance abuse, and impeding pedestrians. It is naive to think we can "ban" or arrest our way out the predicament our lack of leadership has gotten us into. However, we can make great strides with just a few pivots. There are some recent court cases that impact what a city can do in regard to homeless policies, but none of them prevent a city from keeping our public spaces safe, clean, and free from encampments. It is also important that we use policies that address behaviors, not people. When we don't allow daytime tents, permanent parking, or structures to be placed in our public spaces, it also makes it harder for criminal elements to operate.

Maybe you've seen the "graveyard shift," or at least read reports about them on social media and neighborhood watch forums: The people who come out at night, usually dressed in black, often on bikes sized for 12 year-olds but ridden by 6 foot-tall 200-pound men. Some of them pull trailers behind them. They typically operate from midnight until dawn, prowling the streets of Olympia checking for unlocked doors or other things left out and easily stolen. Banning daytime camping makes it much harder for these folks to operate, as their ability to "crash" in the daytime and prowl at night is severely impacted.

Ross For Olympia
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