I go to Kenya every year, and it's 86 percent unemployment. It's one of the poorest countries I've ever been to, and you don't see anyone on the corner. You know what they're doing? There are just these entrepreneurs everywhere selling everything and trying to make a living. That's why whenever I see someone selling the Voice, I always give them money, because they're a homeless individual trying to make ends meet. They're trying to do something. I wish and I hope that people study and understand a lot more of what's going on. I'm elected to protect the public good and make sure there are opportunities for the least of these and the most vulnerable. That's the conundrum that I'm in.

What's the most common conception about the ban that you've faced?

I would say "Homes Not Handcuffs," that whole thing. It's not true. Five thousand people have been placed in homes, and we will increase that. I just sat down with a developer in my district who wants to make these high-priced condos, and I negotiated with him fifty units of low-income. These accusations of "We need homes" — it's like, "Yes, and we're working on them." That's never been off the table. And with handcuffs — obviously no one's been arrested for any of our so-called criminalizing homeless bans.

Albus Brooks was elected to Denver City Council last year.
Albus Brooks was elected to Denver City Council last year.

And there's another one: that businesses are the only ones who are upset and driving that. There are many, many, many. I've probably received 1,000 e-mails since this has gone in, and it's even. It's about 550 to 600 people saying, "This is criminalizing, please don't do this," and 500 who are like, "Thank you. It's bad." Our community is split down the middle.

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16 comments
Guest
Guest

If Carlton Banks (Albus Brooks) hates homeless people so much, why doesn't he just move back to Bel-Air? Problem solved.

Sarah Hidey
Sarah Hidey

It appears that this ordinance is a result of profits coming before people. There were compromises/amendments on the table that would have ensured expanded services for the homeless were present BEFORE the ordinance was passed. But at every juncture, it seems that Albus Brooks was not interested in compromise because the votes were there to get it passed as is. I can't speak for Brooks' intentions, but the lack of openness and seeming arrogance that came through in this article and other outlets really has made me lose faith in the progressive, inspirational leader I thought he was.

Denverite
Denverite

Albus Brooks and Mayor Hancock should beRepublicans. Can't wait to vote them out. They are sneaky in their dealings.

Concerned
Concerned

During hard economic times with many people out of work, it seems a jobs creation bill would be more appropriate for those capable of working. It's so sad that the homeless situation is being addressed by a bill that makes poverty a crime.

Anonymous

calhounp
calhounp

I'd like to publish some of these comments in our print edition, ideally with the author's full name/town. If that's okay, e-mail me at patricia.calhoun@westword.com

jimmie c boswell
jimmie c boswell

passing any law, that is against, your antiG-D religious beliefs. is still, unconstitutional too.

did any of you ever consider, that G-D is attempting to give you a wake up call? so why do any of you, think that G-D, is pissed enough at you all, to command this to happen?

and it sure is a sign, that G-D is not pleased with any of you. and G-D is still in charge, till the end of the sixth day here in, TheTorah.

and if you think, G-D'S Son is going to give you a break. when G-D puts Him in charge again, for the soon to be seventh day. you might want to, reconsider that errant thought. cause if you have all made G-D, that angry at you all. then He is not exactly going to be, a happy camper either.

jimmie c boswell
jimmie c boswell

yeah! and while were at it, lets just make the symptoms of cancer illegal too. since the cause of the problem, does not truly want it solved. because there government jobs, depend upon creating problems they bever want to cure.

Buck Burgett
Buck Burgett

Stick to your guns Mayor Michael Hancock. Your analysis is correct. The people that are against this are the very ones that created this mess.

Robert
Robert

Thank you Councilman Brooks for doing the right thing. As someone that lives downtown, I applaud your efforts.

As someone that has had homeless drunks passed out in the doorway to my building, I invite the opponents of this ordinance to have these people hang out in the entry to your home and then tell me that this isn't an issue.

I see the same characters day after day doing nothing but drinking, taunting visitors on the 16th street mall and then passing out our relieving themselves on the street. This makes our city look bad to tourists, visitors and those that are thinking about locating a business downtown. There has been so much progress in creating a vibrant downtown and something needs to be done to keep it as a visitor-friendly place. People will stop investing in a locale that appears unsafe and one way to make a place look rundown or dangerous is to have hundreds of homeless people wandering the streets.

There are certainly those that have fallen on tough times, but there is a larger majority that simply don't want to conform and instead of working to better themselves, they find it easier to do nothing. Just read the other story in Westword about urban camping. The young couple--who ask me for money almost daily--have no interest in bettering their lives; and if the ordinance passes, they will just find a new city and the pattern of doing nothing will continue. Or, talk to the Occupy Denver "protestors" which don't really protest as much as vandalize, litter and do drugs.

Jason
Jason

I was disheartened when I emailed Mr. Brooks, my councilperson, inquiring about his office hours and I learned that he had NO open office hours. I also emailed him my questions and concerns and never received an email back. It seems as though Mr. Brooks didn't do his due diligence when crafting this plan if so many people and organizations feel as though they have not been a part of the process. A thoughtful and systemic solution to this complex problem is needed but if many of the key stakeholders are not at the table I doubt that this will be found.

Hot Sauce in my Bag
Hot Sauce in my Bag

Why do you hate local small business people so much? See I can do it too

James
James

I agree. Can't stand all the dirty homeless vagrants! Can't we form some sort of camps for them? Let's get them all together in one place & contain them. You're right on Robert. Time to cleanse/ clean up our society!

We need more people who look like Robert & me! Conform or get out of our city & my neighborhood!

 
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