Reno’s Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) and its implementation arm: Downtown Reno Partners, was formed illegally and unethically from the start. Realizing that they would never get a majority of downtown property owners to vote for this double tax, the City Council chose to weight the votes of larger property owners – and used ballots which only allowed for a “Yes” vote, which enabled the Council to declare majority approval, even though over 75% of the property owners voted against it. BID’s have been a 100% failure in reducing homelessness and crime in EVERY city that has tried them.(Ex.: LA, San Francisco, and Seattle ALL have had BID’s for years). BIDS simply provide large businesses extra security services and promotion activities, paid for by the countless businesses who don’t benefit from these things at all. BID’s don’t reduce the homeless population. They merely push it into other parts of the city, which is currently the case with Reno. Eventually, entire communities become saturated with ever-growing homeless populations that the city refuses to let the police enforce the law with, and you have another San Francisco.
The BID issue does NOT just concern downtown property owners. Historically, City Councils try to forcefully create BID’s in ALL neighborhoods, because they provide an extra taxation source that Councils can use any way they choose, and increase on an annual basis without any approval from property owners who are being taxed.
Why have the hundreds and hundreds of private property owners in downtown Reno refused to stand up and demand that the City stop forcing them to pay ever-increasing double taxes, for which they receive no benefit?
QOL-RENO’S SOLUTION FOR SOLVING THE BID ISSUE
Downtown property owners, and ALL community members need to jointly contribute a small amount each, to fund a legal challenge against Reno’s BID (the first one in Nevada). If this was successful, and there is much legal grounds for believing it could be, then property owners ANYwhere in Reno who wanted to contribute to, and participate in a VOLUNTARY “merchants’ association” could do so, and NO property owner would be forcibly taxed against their will
For over 10 years, the union contract for Reno Firefighters has allowed them to have 2-to-5 times the DUI limit for illegal drugs and alcohol while on the job, with no consequences. Not ONE City Council member, NOR the City Manager, NOR the Fire Chief NOR any firefighters have publicly spoken out against this. Neither the Washoe County Firefighters nor the Reno Police have similar clauses for tolerating drugs/alcohol on the job, nor does ANY fire department in the nation that we know of. No one benefits from allowing the policy to remain in effect.
Why do the City Manager, the entire City Council, the Fire Chief and 100% of the Reno firefighters refuse to speak out against this outrageous and dangerous contract provision, and insist that it be changed to conform with contract provisions for Reno’s other public safety workers?
QOL-RENO’S SOLUTION FOR SOLVING THIS PROBLEM
• Contact the City Manager, Council, and Fire Chief with calls, emails, and newspaper letters/op-ed’s demanding that this policy be changed.
https://qol-reno.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Reno-Fire-Station-1-e1565386365569.png8471407Val Whitehttps://qol-reno.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/QOLRENO-TitleLogo-Blk-300x74.pngVal White2019-08-01 15:42:282019-09-07 17:09:38RENO FIRE DEPARTMENT & DRUGS/ALCOHOL
• Reno’s current debt and pension obligations exceed $1 billion. Meanwhile, Council members continue to give away multi-million dollar City-owned properties to political supporters and/or rent them far below market value. • Instead of the entire Council collectively granting funding to various community activities throughout the year, EACH Council member receives $25,000 annually to specifically dole-out in their voting ward. The result is a blatant buying of votes for upcoming elections.
Why is the Council giving away and/or renting below market rate costly city properties that could be used to pay off our $1 billion debt? Why doesn’t the Council give community grants as a collective body, rather than letting each Council member have an individual slush fund for buying votes in their voting wards.
QOL-RENO’S SOLUTION FOR SOLVING THE WASTEFUL AND UNETHICAL SPENDING PRACTICES OF CITY COUNCIL
• Pass a Council policy requiring a marketplace rate for ALL City properties that are sold or rented • Eliminate the Council’s personal slush funds for individual members, and require that ALL community grants be approved and distributed by the entire Council.
• Reno’s national grade for criminal activity is an “F”. • Reno’s homeless-by-choice population has the highest crime rate of any demographic, and commits murder at a rate 15 TIMES greater than their part of the population. • Reno Police, pressured by City Council, rarely enforce the Reno Municipal Criminal Code against the homeless. • Reno’s homeless offenders can have their cases heard in a much more lenient Homeless Court
QUESTION: Why aren’t the Reno Police equally enforcing the City Municipal Criminal Code with ALL citizens, including the homeless?
QOL-RENO’S SOLUTIONS FOR IMPROVING CRIME AND LAW ENFORCEMENT PROBLEMS
• Reno City Council must allow the police to enforce the City Municipal Criminal Code firmly and fairly with ALL community members • Eliminate the Homeless Court. ONE system of justice and ONE set of consequences for EVERYONE.
QOL-RENO CHALLENGES CITY COUNCIL: “WE CAN END RENO’S HOMELESS SITUATION IN 30 DAYS”
QOL-Reno is challenging City Council that we can prove that there isn’t ONE chronically homeless person in our entire community who is not there by CHOICE. QOL-Reno will accept referrals of chronically homeless individuals from the City Council, during a 30-day challenge starting November 25, and concluding on Christmas Eve, December 24.
Details of the QOL-Reno 30-Day Challenge Between November 25 and December 24 (30 days), QOL-Reno will accept City Council’s referrals of homeless individuals and get them housed and employed within 72 hours or less IF that person:
• Can pass a drug test, and stay clean and sober • Is willing to work a steady job • Is willing to obey the law • Is willing to immediately start mental health treatment if needed • Is willing to accept any housing and/or support programs available • QOL-Reno will publicly report on the results with every client referred to them by Reno City Council. Referred clients will remain anonymous. • QOL-Reno will not charge $1 for its services during this 30-day period.
WHY will QOL-Reno’s 30-day challenge to City Council be successful? Because NONE of the “legitimately homeless” are on the streets. They are already IN countless great programs, already willingly accepting a large variety of help and services, and are already rebuilding their lives.
What will this challenge prove? • The tens of millions of dollars the City Council is spending on government-funded and directed homeless programs is NOT needed • The Council’s approach to solving Reno’s homelessness is making the situation worse. • The Council needs to adopt the QOL-Reno Homeless Plan, that emphasizes: 1) Helping those who want to be helped, and 2) Firm, fair law enforcement for those who DO NOT want help, and are merely hiding behind the “homeless” label.
HOMELESS MYTH BUSTING IN RENO
MYTH #1: “The Homeless-by-choice on the street are hungry and have no money.” FALSE! QOL-Reno’s research found that ANY single person on the street has access to: • 25 food pantries that supply enough food for over 70 meals per week • Two free meals, 6-7 days per week through a variety of providers • Either food stamps for almost $200 per month and/or disability, social security, or pension checks ranging from $700-$1,000+ per month.
MYTH #2: “The homeless-by-choice on the street have no affordable housing options.” FALSE! QOL-Reno’s research found that EVERY contacted private program, half-way house, sober living, etc. “ALWAYS have openings.” These programs require sobriety, employment, law-abiding behavior, participation in life-changing programs, and counseling if necessary.
QOL-Reno also found that the City’s homeless shelter “RARELY has openings.” This program has been described by its own management as “dangerous,” “chaotic,” and “unsafe.” The City’s shelter allows unlimited amounts of drugs and alcohol in its clients, doesn’t require employment, law-abiding behavior, participation in any type of life-changing programs, or mental health counseling/programs.
MYTH #3: “The Homeless-by-choice on the street can’t find employment?” FALSE! Reno has numerous employment agencies that can place anyone with an ID and a clean drug test at a job the following day for $12 – $18/hour.
Watch the full interview of “Warren”.
From Homeless to Healed Reno’s Homeless Plan Will Never Work – I Should Know
by Tim McGivney
Reno’s homeless plan will never work. Not “later.” Not after they pour millions more into it. Not ever. I know that firsthand – because I was homeless and an IV drug user on the streets of Reno for far too long.
I’m clean and sober now, a good husband and dad, and working a good job. NONE of that would have happened if I’d followed the Reno City Council’s homeless plan.
Reno’s Homeless Plan does NOT work and will NEVER work in Reno, just like it has NEVER worked in any city in the country that has tried it. The reason is because it does not deal with the main issues that kept someone like me on the street. Reno’s Plan doesn’t require the four important things that anyone hoping to get off the street has to be willing to do.
Reno CAN’T require these four things for its Homeless Plan as long as they accept federal money.
If Reno’s City Council refused federal funding, like the Reno/Sparks Gospel Mission does, they could require their homeless clients to follow the 4 things that lead to success, just like the Gospel Mission does.
Then, Reno’s homeless plan would actually help the homeless, just like the Gospel Mission’s does.
But Reno’s City Council refuses to let go of the federal funding. Therefore, their program continues to help almost no one who is in the situation I was in on the street. That’s why Reno’s homeless problem continues to get worse and worse.
Reno’s Homeless Plan is actually a trap that harms the homeless. It misleads them into believing they are victims of tough times, that they’re not responsible for their situations, and they just need other people in the community to give them everything.
Homelessness is absolutely about tough times …but the tough times are almost always caused by the homeless population’s OWN self-destructive habits. Just like MY problems were caused by MY refusal to do the 4 things listed above.
Reno’s Homeless Plan will put people who do NOT want to be clean and sober, employed, or law-abiding into nice clean homes, paid for with tax money. The houses won’t stay nice and clean for long. The homeless will destroy them. Then they will demand that the city spend more money to buy them MORE new homes. If you don’t believe me, go look at the City’s homeless shelter downtown and see how it has been trashed. Then go next door and compare how nice the Gospel Mission facility is, because they DO have rules.
One of the worst things about the Reno Homeless Plan, is that it will attract MORE homeless people from all over the country. Vagrants who don’t want to take self-responsibility will continue to network with each other about the great deal in Reno and keep moving here. They’ll hear that homeless people in Reno can do anything they want to do, including breaking most of the laws. They’ll hear that the City just keeps giving the homeless tons of free stuff, without requiring them to do anything. That’s how Los Angeles and Seattle got to be like they are. That’s what Reno will become if things don’t change.
How do you make homeless people WANT to be clean/sober and obey the laws? You have to hold them accountable for what they do. People who support Reno’s Homeless Plan say that you “can’t arrest your way out of homelessness.” From firsthand experience, I can tell you that’s NOT true. I went to jail over two-dozen times. Finally – BECAUSE of that experience – I got sick of wasting my life and tearing my family apart. Finally, I listened to a local pastor who showed me how to turn to God and walk with integrity. Finally, I decided I wanted to be a good dad, which meant I had to stop using drugs, obey the law, and get a job.
The Reno City Council’s homeless plan is not caring or helpful to people it temporarily takes off the street. It just enables them to keep using until they die, go to prison, or completely lose their health.
If Reno’s City Council really cares about helping the homeless – the people who are destroying their lives, just like I was – they’ll change their approach. They’ll change their plan to REQUIRE the homeless who want help to be clean and sober, work, obey the laws, and get mental health counseling. Nothing else works. I know.
About the author: Tim McGivney is a lifelong Reno resident. He welcomes feedback at timmcgivney@icloud.
RENO’S INCREASING HOMELESS POPULATION AND ITS RELATED PROBLEMS ARE NEGATIVELY IMPACTING:
• Tourism • Efforts to attract new businesses • Crime rate • Quality of Life • Our debt-ridden city finances • Availability of public safety services to the rest of the community
Why is the City Council following and funding a homeless plan that has NEVER worked in ANY city where it has been tried? It is the exact same plan that has ruined Los Angeles, Seattle, and many other communities.
QOL-RENO’S 4-STEP SOLUTION FOR SOLVING RENO’S HOMELESS PROBLEMS .. ALMOST OVERNIGHT!
1) Eliminate HUD funding and oversight of Reno’s Homeless Shelter, so clients can be required to: be clean/sober, employed, seek mental health counseling (when needed), contribute to the cost of sheltering them, and obey the law. 2) Allow the Reno Police Department to fully and fairly enforce the city Municipal Code, including illegal camping
3) Eliminate special “Homeless Courts” where they receive little or no consequences for the crimes they commit
WHAT’S NEW WITH WCSD’S 49th-IN-THE-NATION RANKED SCHOOLS? “I would NEVER send my child to WCSD schools.” (WCSD substitute teacher)
QOL-Reno interviewed a WCSD substitute teacher about his/her experiences in our high schools. Excerpts follow:
• When the class bell would ring, about 1/3 of students were in my classroom, and the other 20-25 were wandering the school grounds with no consequences. • Students who weren’t even enrolled in my class would come in and verbally abuse me, and in one instance assaulted me. When I tried to stop this behavior, the students would say, “You can’t stop me.” When I reported the incident to the principal’s office, they did nothing. • Maybe 5 out of 35 students in class were trying to do their work, and the rest were just playing on their phones during the entire period. There was almost no learning taking place. • The smell of marijuana in the classroom was pretty constant. • I observed no discipline of any kind on the campuses I was on. • The student behavior at the richer and poorer high schools was equally bad. • I would NEVER send my child to WCSD schools. Parents have no idea what is going on. They should know that their kids are getting exposed to drugs and constant lying. Our high schools are nothing but teenage daycare centers, functioning in mildly organized, dangerous chaos.
JUST THE FACTS
Former Superintendent Traci Davis was fired for-cause by the WCSD School Board July 1, 2019. Has the School Board learned enough from this ongoing fiasco to hire – and supervise — a superintendent who will fix the mess that is our WCSD school system?
The leading education survey (2019 Editorial Projects in Education) shows Nevada schools, including WCSD, are the 49th worst in the nation based, on 3 criteria:
75% of our 4th and 8th graders are below grade level in Math and English on the national NAEP test)
Hope for the Future?
Children in WCSD schools children rank as having the LEAST likely chance for a successful future
Poor money management by the Superintendent and School Board
WCSD has run a multi-million dollar budget deficit for the past 11 years, and has more administrators than school districts 10 TIMES its size.
Graduation rates (which WCSD can – and DOES manipulate) are increasing!
Meanwhile, the most important ACT national test (which WCSD can NOT manipulate) – shows that almost 90% of our graduating seniors do not qualify for college level classes … and the scores have declined for three straight years.
Should your 11-year-old child be taught about anal and group sex in school sex education, but be taught NOTHING about moral values? 5 of the 7 WCSD School Board members think they should.
https://qol-reno.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Reno-WCSD.png10951500Val Whitehttps://qol-reno.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/QOLRENO-TitleLogo-Blk-300x74.pngVal White2019-08-01 15:31:062019-11-22 12:09:16WASHOE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Although most people living in U.S.cities, small and large, have encountered homelessness at some point in their daily lives, the large majority are unaware of the depth of the problem, the solutions being implemented nationwide, and the costs.
The recently published article “Seattle Under Siege: Record numbers of homeless people are occupying the city’s public spaces, despite massive government spending to fight the problem” by Christoper F. Rofu provides an insightful analysis of Seattle’s homeless situation. Although the article focuses on Seattle, it could easily and accurately describe a multitude of cities across the country. Readers will recognize similar activities and participants in their own communities.
QOL-Reno.org is working to address a growing homeless problem impacting Reno’s quality of life. We invite you to join this “quality of life” citizen activity to bring much needed solutions to our community. Just click on the “Contact Us” and “Subscribe” links to learn about upcoming activities.
https://qol-reno.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/homeless-2090507_1280-trim.png413922Val Whitehttps://qol-reno.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/QOLRENO-TitleLogo-Blk-300x74.pngVal White2019-01-17 18:45:032019-08-05 15:07:13ARTICLE/PODCAST: Intro to the politics of "Homelessness"
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