You may have already seen the info on Thursdays rally. This is a
reminder. But be sure to read the second item, a position statement
by Rev. Milford L. Griner. This will give you some further background
And it should make you outraged enough to show up Thurs. We must stop
this blanket criminalization of the homeless by Commissioner Braddy,
who needs to be reminded of his own criminal offense while serving
on the City Commission.
At 6pm the City Commission will take up whether or not to rezone
the property proposed for the One Stop Service Center for the homeless.
Braddy will use his crime stats to argue that his neighbors in his
district don't want this criminal element. With a 43% increase in the
numbers of homeless over a year ago, we need to fast track the One Stop,
not allow irrational fears to derail it. Miriam
On Thursday April 3 at 5 p.m. there will be a rally in front of City
Hall in support of
Gainesville's homeless community. The purposes of this rally,
in addition to showing community support for fair, wise and compassionate
treatment of our homeless citizens, will be to:
(1) demand that the City of Gainesville make a commitment to deal
with homelessness as a housing and
economic issue, not a criminal issue;
(2) respond to the unjust, fear-mongering attack on homeless people
by Commissioner Ed Braddy;
(3) make the point that all human beings have a right to exist;
(4) make the point that people have the right to help other people
who are in need.
This rally is being held on the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther
King's final speech, on the night before he was assassinated, a
speech in support of the garbage workers of Memphis. In his memory,
we will be supporting our homeless citizens, many of whom are day
laborers and minimum-wage workers in Gainesville.
St. Vincent de Paul Society
FROM THE OFFICE OF REV MILFORD LEWIS GRINER
Founder and Chariman
Rosa Parks "Quiet Courage" Committee
March 22, 2008
As a minister, a resident of Gainesville, an advocate for our homeless
citizens, and a community activist. I, in this official e-mail, am publicly
denouncing a Gainesville City Commissioner for his recent actions involving
the recent release of documents highlighting the list of 1000 convicted
homeless felons in our area. I am accusing this commissioner of deliberate
prejudice, fear-mongering and insensitivity toward the Office of
Homelessness, as well as the many other homeless advocates in and around
the Gainesville area, not to mention the homeless citizens themselves.
The question must be asked as to what truly motivated Mr. Braddy to
undertake this records search, and why he has made such a public display of
sharing the information while the commision as a whole is still deciding on
the future of the One-Stop Center and other homeless issues? The actions by
this public offical is a perfect example of others in our community whose
minds and hearts are clouded over by unneeded fear and prejudice. The list
of homeless felons should be look at very carefully, and when it is, it
will be discovered that many of these felonies were committed years ago,
and the debts have been paid to society, and the people have moved on, just
as Ed Braddy has moved on following his own very public brush with the
local police several years in the past.
How would Mr. Braddy feel if, everywhere he went, someone reminded him of
his drunk driving incident in Gainesville, where he was so intoxicated, he
fell down into a ditch? How would it make him feel to be treated in a
disrespectful way and denied basic rights. Mr. Braddy does not have to
concern himself with his own past unlawful behavior, instead focusing on
our homeless, many whom have been trying to move past their past deeds just
as Mr. Braddy has done. The search for public records can be just like a
two-edged sword, and Mr. Braddy would not be happy with a retelling of his
own highly publicized incident.
And while the felonies list and Mr. Braddy's arrest are different in terms
of catagories, the point here is being too quick to judge others for past
mistakes can come back to haunt you.
God's word still says, "judge not, lest you will also be judged."
On April 3rd at 5:00pm, there will an open outdoor rally held in support of
our homeless citizens right outside city hall. I intend to repeat many of
the same points mentioned in this e-mail. I will do so not to shame Mr.
Braddy, for he does a good job of that on his own. April 3rd will mark the
40th anniversary of the last speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. before
he was killed by an assassin the next day, April 4th, 1968. King was in
Memphis to support striking garbage workers who were being denied rights
because they happened to be Black.
I intend, in my remarks, to draw parallels between April 3rd 1968 and April
3rd, 2008, and how fear and misinformation still brings strife and
divisions within our communities.
More information about the rally will be forthcoming in an official press
release. Besides myself, those involved will be Jon DeCarmine from the
Office of Homelessness, Arupa Freeman, who operates the HOME van, and Donna
Lawson from Interfaith Hospitality Network, and many local supporters of
our homeless brothers and sisters. The actions by Mr. Braddy will not go
unanswered by good people of Gainesville, and there are still more than one
side to any story.
Mr. Braddy has had his very public say, and now the community members with
hearts and open minds will have theirs.
Rev. Milford Lewis Griner
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