This morning, members of Picture the Homeless went to 250 Broadway to attend a public meeting of the Housing & Buildings Committee of the Council. We were shocked to see that the building’s security team had our picture up on the wall of their cubicle, and every security staffer had a printout of our names and information. Then, we were told that we were not permitted to attend the public meeting, because we had disrupted meetings in the past. When we informed them that none of us had participated in those disruptions, we were told it didn’t matter.
“The City Council is running scared of Picture the Homeless because we told the truth about Intro 48,” said Housing Campaign leader Bernard Anderson. “They think they can stop us, but they’re just making us stronger and more resolved. We’ve got them looking over their shoulder… and they’re always going to see PTH there. And if they won’t let us attend public meetings, we’ll have to hit them somewhere else.”
“They’ve barred PTH from attending public meetings,” said PTH member Frank Clark, decamping at the PTH satellite office at the Dunkin’ Donuts around the block from 250 Broadway. “They’ve got our pictures up at the desk, and an extra police presence outside. The City Council treats Picture the Homeless like America’s Most Wanted.”
Instead, members handed out fliers on the street outside the building – putting Intro 48 propaganda into the hands of City Council members and staffers, including Housing & Buildings Committee Chair Erik Martin Dilan. From our conversation with the building security, it was clear that they had information that had been communicated directly from us to Council Member Dilan – so we knew he was feeling the heat, and had been in constant communication with security.
“Why are they so scared of a bill that just asks for a count of vacant property?” wondered PTH member Ramon Bellinder. “Everyone should have housing, no matter what income level they have.”
“The harder they push us, the harder we’ll push back,” affirmed Alease Lowe of the PTH Media Team. “Last week they canceled their own meeting because they knew we were coming – this time they canceled us. But they need to know that Picture the Homeless and Intro 48 are not going to disappear.”
This article was originally published on the Picture the Homeless Blog.