Denver Republicans oppose the measure that would overturn the city’s camping ban

“It’s just not in our opinion an answer to homelessness.”

The Beloved Community tiny home village is an alternative to shelters for people experiencing homelessness.March 21, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Beloved Community tiny home village is an alternative to shelters for people experiencing homelessness.March 21, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Donna Bryson. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver Republicans oppose Initiated Ordinance 300, the measure that would overturn the city’s urban camping ban.

Kristina Cook, the Denver County GOP chair, said her executive committee took its position in a vote earlier this month.

“It’s just not in our opinion an answer to homelessness,” she said. “I don’t think it’s compassionate to abandon the folks who are experiencing homelessness to camping on the streets.”

Last month the Democratic Party of Denver endorsed the measure, saying it was ‘the right approach to helping those experiencing homelessness.” It added the party was committed to working with the city to address homelessness.

The proposed initiative is backed by advocates for the homeless who say it is a matter of protecting basic rights. It would overturn the camping ban by establishing a “right to rest” protected from the elements in public. It also calls for people to be able to eat and share food in public places where food is not prohibited, to shelter in legally parked motor vehicles and “to have a right and expectation of privacy and safety of or in one’s person and property.”

Critics say the proposal could undermine the city’s ability to maintain safety and security because it is vague and sweeping.

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