The homeless: A disturbing experience in SD

Dear Amikas Amigos!

Despite all the bad news (Supreme Court decision etc.) we've seen a burst of ideas, inspiration and progress this past week regarding our Amikas project.

On Wednesday, several of us who are also working with Girls Think Tank to provide immediate relief for those living on the streets of San Diego, had planned to deliver the clothing and backpacks we'd filled with necessities, to the homeless. You may recall the torrential rain we had last week and we decided to bring the clothing to the temporary shelter run by the Alpha Project instead, so everything wouldn't get immediately drenched and ruined.

A disturbing experience in San Diego:

Later, the rain had died down a bit and we brought the backpacks and plastic tarps to people we found under overpasses and doorways trying to stay out of the rain. It was a disturbing experience for us, seeing so many people, young and old, women and men, with no place to go in that terrible weather. I know that for me and Juan, Maurice and Rachel we are more determined than ever to find a solution for this horrible situation. You can read Maurice Martin's article about Wednesday here:

And while you are at it, be sure to sign our petition to get water fountains and public restrooms downtown:


Our First Meeting:
On Friday night, we had our first Amikas meeting. Despite yet another rainy night, Mike Copass, Maurice Martin, Dan Watman, Chris Scott, Juan and I met at our apartment to give birth to Amikas. I don't want to write about everything here, but this is going to be the most positive and exciting revolution there ever was! If you want to be involved in a real solution, please join us at our next meeting. When? You tell me - what would convenient dates/time for you to come to our apartment in Linda Vista. Or, if we have enough participation, I can see if the community room at People's Co-op in OB is available.Top on the list is getting our signature campaign cranked up and building the Common Cents system.

Amikas Freedom Charter
In the course of looking at past populist movements, I came upon the Freedom Charter that the people of South Africa kept alive all during the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela (unfortunately many of the principles were lost to the Shock Doctrine treatment the IMF imposed on the ANC). The idea that this set of rights was written out and distributed throughout South Africa, becoming the cornerstone of the ANC movement, is a good one to borrow. So I tried writing a first draft of the Amikas Freedom Charter with the thought that we can work on it, simplify it , then distribute it on laminated cards that can be passed along to the people living on the streets and people who care about economic justice, as a way to begin to introduce the idea of Amikas. I've attached it here and hope you will take few minutes to read through the attached and send back your suggestions for improving it.

We have a ton of work ahead of us and my mind is going a mile a minute with what needs to be done. But I am so energized by the whole idea that we can do something positive in the midst of so much frustration and despair. After the events of the past week, I'm more convinced than ever that the only way to change things is from the bottom up, and that we are the ones to do it! Hold on to your hats, we're in for a wild ride and I'm delighted to have you along for it!

In peace and hope,
Jeeni Criscenzo del Rio
ask me about Amikas!

"Lack of sufficient drinkable water has been a contributing factor in the death of several City of San Diego disabled residents in the past year, and is the cause of easily-preventable human suffering and medical problems stemming from chronic thirst and dehydration, and

The City of San Diego’s insufficient drinking water, publicly-accessible toilet and hand-washing facilities has resulted in an ongoing public-health crisis, a preventable burden to first responder and local health services.

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