ROCKY ANDERSON'S EMAIL
to the mayor of Jackson, WYOMING
Date: Thu, Nov 3, 2022 at 2:45 PM
Subject: Jackson is sending its homeless to Salt Lake City jhnewsandguide.com
Dear Mayor Levinson -
I'm Rocky Anderson, former two-term Mayor of SLC (2000-08) and now a candidate for another term. I'm running now because of my deep concerns about the many failures of our current mayor and several of the people on the City Council relating to homelessness, crime, drugs, and affordable housing.
Just before the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games, I learned that the Las Vegas Mayor, Oscar Goodman, had accused SLC of bussing homeless people to Las Vegas. I called him and set him straight--that we would never stoop to such despicable treatment of homeless people and insulting, unfriendly conduct toward another city. Mayor Goodman told me he was relying on bad rumors and immediately (within the hour) issued a retraction of his charge and an apology. We became good friends after that. (I wasn't too hard on him. He had been an attorney for the mob. :) )
I learned today that there is a judge in your fair city (comprised largely of multi-millionaires) who is ordering homeless people to get on a bus from Jackson to Salt Lake City. https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/cops_courts/jackson-is-sending-its-homeless-to-salt-lake-city/article_12f34a60-be2b-5c91-80a6-825c7662a3b3.html. That is such an incredibly indecent thing to do toward people in your community who are experiencing homelessness -- and such an incredibly unfriendly thing to do toward a nearby municipality that is already struggling to deal with the homeless population we already have.
Our current mayor is engaged in cruel harassment of homeless people who have set up tents, running them off repeatedly from their places of refuge and having her Streets Division confiscate their belongings and destroy them. This is NOT a friendly place for homeless people to be. There are not nearly enough beds for people experiencing homelessness in our community, leaving many people out in the cold.
Every year, people die from exposure during the winter months. Some who stay in the freezing cold, who do so because of their mental illness, are ignored by our elected officials. See https://www.deseret.com/utah/2019/12/6/20999278/utah-salt-lake-homeless-mentally-ill-mayor-rocky-anderson.
We do not have sufficient overflow shelters for the homeless population that is already here. For a Jackson judge to send more homeless people to Salt Lake City exacerbates an already horrendous problem -- and exposes those he sends here to extremely harsh, life-threatening conditions.
I've practiced law for decades and have been before dozens of judges, both in state and federal courts. Never have I known of a judge to exercise his or her powers in such a capricious, abusive manner. It's almost as if he wants to start a war between our communities. Already, I've been approached by one person willing to put up thousands of dollars to rent busses to ship homeless people to Jackson. Of course, I don't think that's a good answer to this situation. We should all be helping each other find solutions rather than shuffling our problems off to other communities.
Please exercise the rational and compassionate leadership called for in this situation and communicate the message to this judge that you and your community opposes his uncompassionate, wild-west approach to a very difficult, sensitive issue. In short, Jackson needs to figure out how to best deal with those who are homeless there just as Salt Lake City needs to do far better regarding those in our homeless community.
I would be pleased to speak with you to discuss how to best reverse the damage done in the relations between the people of our city and those in Jackson, a place I've always treasured and where dear friends of mine reside. Please call me anytime at 385.234.0489.
Thank you for your responsive and compassionate leadership - Rocky Anderson
Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson
Rocky for Mayor