[diggers350] ALERT: San Jose, CA Homeless Occupy Fairmont Hotel Lobby - HUFF fwd

Tom Boland wgcp at earthlink.net
Tue Mar 7 04:48:25 GMT 2000

FWD - CC REPLIES TO: Becky Johnson & Robert Norse <wmnofstl at cruzio.com>
Subject: San Jose Homeless Strike Again To Occupy Fairmont Hotel Lobby

309 Cedar St. PMB 14B  Santa Cruz, Ca. USA 95060
(831) 423-HUFF fax (831) 429-8529 e-mail Wmnofstl at cruzio.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Sunday, March 5, 2000


(San Jose, Ca.)  In the 3rd action of the "Poor People's Campaign", Rev.
Scott Wagers led a Sunday march to Fairmont Hotel's posh lobby in downtown
San Jose. Wager's Community Homeless Alliance Ministry (CHAM) marched
100-strong with supporters from First Christian Church, the Affordable
Housing Network, local labor groups, & Santa Cruz's HUFF.

In the homeless spotlight is the 35+ million-dollar subsidy the Fairmont
Hotel has received from the Redevelopment Agency in San Jose while nearly
20,000 homeless people walk the streets of San Jose, unable to find or
afford shelter. At two prior events, CHAM activists and many supporters
came to City Hall, asking Mayor Ron Gonzales & his City Council to act
immediately on affordable housing. Instead of concrete commitments,
Gonzales called the police and arrested them. The Martin Luther
King-inspired demonstrators face misdemeanor trespass & "disrupting a
public meeting" charges, with jury trial arraignments to begin March 15th.

Before marching five blocks to the Fairmont from a church service, CHAM
reserved a $270 room for the night for a homeless family. The 100+
demonstrators then filled the hotel's ground-floor lobby-reception room
and carried in a bucket of noodle-vegetable soup along with sandwiches and
drinks. When nervous Fairmont managers called the police to evict the
picnickers, CHAM discovered that -- due to the $35 million public
subsidy--the lobby was legally open to the public - a fact well-concealed
from the community for the last five years.

Thwarted in their eviction attempt, a Fairmont official volunteered to pay
for the room. "Even my employees can't afford housing here in San Jose!"
he complained. After filing up to the room to inspect the luxury quarters
for the family of four, the protesters peacefully left the building.

In addition to opulently subsidizing the Fairmont Hotel, the Redevelopment
Agency has also lavished public money on a variety of luxury projects: the
Convention Center ($230 million) , the Sharks Arena ($152 million), the
Tech Museum ($80 million), Adobe Computers ($18 million), IBM ($18
million), the Hilton Hotel ($18 million), AMC Theaters which has since
closed ($14 million), the Sharks Practice Rink ($10 million), the St.
Claire Hotel ($9 million), the Fallon House-Museum ($5 million), and the
De Anza ($3.6 million). "Obviously money is not the problem. It is this
city's priorities which must be changed," Rev. Wagers told the crowd.

Who of these city-subsidized corporate welfare recipients will be the next
reluctant host in the CHAM's unfolding Poor People's Campaign? If the
homeless know, they're not saying.

To call First Christian Church and Rev. Scott Wagers, (408) 345-2353

CHAM (408) 454-0378

To contact Mayor Ron Gonzales of San Jose, Ca. (408) 277-4237


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