Redding Business Owner: Take Back Our City; ‘Stand Silent for Change’

We must come together in support of Redding, our vibrant, beautiful city.

We can no longer sustain our high level of frustration and continue sharing stories amongst ourselves about crime, fear and damaged property, with no change, or hope for change in sight.

This month we have an opportunity to make a difference by "Standing Silent for Change" with our presence by the hundreds, even thousands, to demonstrate to Redding's leaders - and prospective leaders - our degree of disappointment, and the fact that we will no longer accept the current state of our city.

Join us as we "Stand Silent for a Change" at 6 p.m. Wed., July 30, during Redding Police Chief Robert Paoletti's mid-year crime statistics report/town hall meeting at the Redding City Council Chambers.

Our goal is to have so many of us show up and Stand Silent for Change that we will fill the Redding City Council Chambers, and overflow out of the building.

Attend this meeting in a silent protest if you are fed up with the direction Redding has taken with crime, transients and AB-109ers.

Attend this meeting in a silent protest if you or your neighbors are experiencing crime, and you feel unsafe walking your dog, walking our new trails, or if you fear venturing into our city's parks.

Attend this meeting in a silent protest if you have a business that experiences thefts, broken windows and vandalism.

Attend this meeting in silent protest if you are tired of cleaning urine and excrement from your business doorways and property.

Attend this meeting in silent protest and as a show support for our friends, our families, and the future of Redding.

No one has to speak. But our sheer numbers will speak volumes as we stand in silent protest for change.

Please share this with anyone who wants to see positive change in our city before it is too late.

What: Stand Silent for Change
When: 6 p.m. Wed., July 30
Where: Redding Police Chief Robert Paoletti's Town Hall Meeting; Redding City Council Chambers

Cynthia "Sam" Allen owns CAROUSEL boutique in downtown Redding. Click here to read a related story about Allen's frustrations as a downtown business owner. Click here for Allen's July 15, 2013 letter to Redding City Council members

Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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55 Responses

  1. Randall Smith says:

    Join Sam’s Army on 30 July or consider yourself part of the problem. My wife and I will today complete a 1000 mile eight day vacation in Oregon. We have visited eleven medium size cities. We saw one cardboard sign carrying citizen in Grants Pass. Redding has become very different, dangerously so. The proof is too easy to observe. Medford forbids handing money or objects to strangers from a motor vehicle. There are actions which can stop this plague. The quest for them is our responsibility.

    • PB says:

      Some cities have created ordinances which keep the homeless and panhandling elements (often NOT one and the same), to a minimum in certain high-profile areas, with the result that those elements just show up in greater profusion in other less traveled parts of the city. Redding’s population has more than tripled just within the space of about 25 years, and with that growth has come the big-city problems more populace areas have been experiencing for decades. You would be hard-pressed to find the crime-free, homeless-free utopia described by some of the posters in this forum.

      However, by all means demand to know how many more non-local state prison parolees are flooding the area than Shasta County’s share, and are being housed in “temporary” facilities like the Mission, seedy motels, etc. (which – being “temporary” – are apparently exempt from the 10 percent rule). It’s my understanding that this is a highly lucrative business for local governmental agencies.

      It might also be worth demanding to know why the Redding area has far fewer facilities and services for the homeless than any other city of any size, which (of course) just increases their presence on the streets.

      • Kate says:

        What is the purpose of this silent protest? What message are you trying to send and to who?

        This is an honest question, I’m not understanding.

        Is this an argument for more police officers?

    • Beth Brunner says:

      So true! There are many cities and towns across the nation that DO NOT have this problem. When naysayers say “it’s everywhere” trust me, it’s not.

  2. Lana says:

    Count me in!!!

  3. EasternCounty says:

    Parkview Neighborhood has been hit hard by people who seem to think that stealing is a dandy way to make a living. I’m e-mailing everyone in the Parkview Neighborhood in hopes that they will attend the meeting in force in a show of support.

  4. name says:

    I can see the value from the show of support standpoint.

    But the only solution is retribution. we have to fight back.

  5. Tammy Nichols says:

    I completely agree with Sam Allen. I will definitely attend the meeting. We have been traveling in California and Utah and have not seen the influx of vagrants, criminals and bums that greet us every time we leave our home.

    Does Redding have any laws against LOITERING? If so, why aren’t they enforced? If not, we desperately need them! There are people, mostly men, laying all over the grassy areas beside our streets, in front of businesses and in doorways of vacant buildings. Why have we turned our town over to the most despicable among us? They will soon be in total control because many of the responsible citizens will choose to live elsewhere. This is intolerable! I will support the tax hike that Mayor Bosetti is recommending to help combat this horrible problem.

    • PB says:

      Anti-loitering ordinances may or may not be legal in limited areas (not city-wide). However, keep in mind that such an ordinance would also apply to an elderly person who feels the need to stop and rest for a few minutes, someone waiting for a ride, etc. It could not be made to apply ONLY to people whose appearance you find objectionable.

      By the same token, any blanket anti-panhandling ordinance would apply equally to Salvation Army bell ringers, Girl Scout cookie sellers, and anyone else who is soliciting money from the public for any reason.

      • cheyenne says:

        You cite blanket rules that will affect everyone from Salvation Army to Girl Scouts and it simply isn’t true. Many towns, throughout Wyoming and Colorado and Nebraska have set strict rules against panhandling. Those rules are in place to prevent what is happening there in Redding, panhandlers accosting people in parking lots or in front of businesses. Salvation Army has bell ringers voicing Merry Christmas not gimmie your money or I’ll pull a knife. Girl Scouts set up a table or just stand there out of the way, under parents watchful eye, and ask people politly to buy cookies, they don’t block the doorway and shout that they are being oppressed.
        In all this I find that you cut and ran from Redding to Sac and now complain about the good people who stayed in Redding and are trying to better it.
        I obviously am not going to the meeting, hopefully someone will quietly raise a sign that says Cheyenne supports take back the city. Are you going to the meeting to confront those locals who you think are doing things different then you want them done?

    • Beth Brunner says:

      Tammy, just make sure the $’s actually go toward additional LE on the streets and not to help the pension budget shortfall.

  6. treker says:

    It wasn’t too many years ago RPD rented a freeway sign to announce how many sex offenders where in the Redding area. Not a lot of citizens were thrilled about the sign but it got their message across. Why not rent the largest billboard available in town and start posting 5′ x 5′ pictures of the problem people on the board whom are caught in the act of “scumbagging” such as, passed out on sidewalks or public areas, relieving themselves in public, drug deals and so on. Their pictures could go directly below the large heading; “WILL WORK FOR ANYTHING GOD BLESS”

  7. Grammy says:

    All the homelessness such helps to give us with a roof over our heads a deep feeling for thankfulness. Thankful that we have a place to go to cool off. A roof over our heads while we surf the web on our own time. A large screen TV to watch while in our Lazy Boy. How easy for us blessed, to feel resentful towards those that make us look outside our safe lives and see the other side.

    • Beth Brunner says:

      There is nothing wrong with feeling resentful about the quality of life for our children and grandchildren rapidly going downhill. I don’t know about you, but I want a safe, clean, healthy and peaceful life for those I love.

  8. It is time to take back our city. Let’s come TOGETHER to figure out how we can fix this ever encroaching problem. Let’s make our city safe again. We have to stand many and united to accomplish it. See you there!

  9. Louise byers says:

    I agree the homeless problem desperately needs ti be addressed. Yet the hatred that us voiced in some of these posts is troubling, some of these people really don’t choose to be there but under circumstances beyond their control , also remember even if they choose to be homeless they are human beings. You wouldn’t kick a dog for being homeless I hope . I’m not saying it’s ok but instead if hating try and help with a solution . This idea for the meeting is a great start, redding has to have the most shady government I’ve ever seen. Never have I seem it government involved so much I the private sector .A good example is the hotel by turtle bay . If a chain wanrs to build a destination hotel GREAT hold the meetings give them a permit and let them build. The city does not have to have their hand or money in every business opened.

    • Beth Brunner says:

      I don’t think there is hatred being expressed, but instead, complete and utter frustration. These problems have been growing and brewing for a very long time as law abiding, tax paying citizens stand helplessly by, watching the community they love go to seed.

    • Sam Allen says:

      Louise, I thank you for your comment. As you will see though, I have not included the homeless. I employ some of our homeless to help me with yard work and even had two of them sit at my dining table for dinner last week. I do not have problem with some of the folks that are truly trying to help themselves. I am talking about the thugs, criminals, and transients that prey on citizens and the homeless that are helpless at the hands of them. We need to weed out the criminal element and support our city officials . Let them know we feel their frustrations. Now is the time to find solutions.If we can stand in silence for just a little while in unity as a city maybe it might bring about change without name calling or blaming anyone for this problem.

    • Laura says:

      I don’t think the issue here is homeless dogs. The issue is dangerous ones. I, for one, support defending myself against (“kicking”) dangerous criminals.

      I think the anger and frustration expressed here can be a natural and important response to this situation. Without it, many people would not feel compelled to get involved and work towards a resolution. Anger doesn’t neccessarily mean attack, it could simply mean taking action.

      • Sam Allen says:

        Thank you Laura for words well spoken. I am not angry, I just want our citizens to show support for change.

  10. Amanda says:

    This isn’t about homeless or displaced people. This about criminal activity. Criminals and likely addicts breaking into stores and homes, stabbing people, stealing purses out of people’s cars (while some are actually sitting at a stop light with their window down), as Sam said, urinating and defecating on businesses entries, hanging out outside of businesses and leaving beer bottles and garbage when they leave (and that’s IF they agree to leave when asked), robbing people at knife point outside of Target,….
    I don’t care if they’re homeless or not. They’re criminals. Providing more places for homeless people to be isn’t going to stop criminals from committing crimes. More law enforcement, quicker response time and harsher punishments is what’s needed. I sat through a court hearing with a friend and watched as the District Attorney wasted time and money pursuing low level bullshit and often erroneous charges while there is no money to hire more law enforcement or build another jail or enforce city ordinances that keep thugs from being comfortable. It’s a disgrace and it’s disgraceful that people would lump homeless people with jackasses that commit crimes.
    They are not necessarily one and the same.
    I’ll be there Sam! As a business owner and neighbor.

  11. KarenC says:

    The City of Redding has an ordinance against loitering. They also have an ordinance against camping within city limits. Bottom line….the rules are already there. Please enforce them.

  12. JIM leaverton says:

    One way bus tickets and 100 dollars would be cheaper than Jail or city and county services. For the real homeless , families ect we should help. In Hawaii they have a program for one way airline tickets to the mainland..

  13. rachel says:

    First, has anyone gone on the City of Redding web page and read the mission statement or vision for Redding? They fail to follow this.
    Second, the city is failing to use the money provided by AB109 to provide public safety programs and people need to look where that money is going.
    Lastly, is there term limits? These people need out for failure to us. I have tried to convince my daughter to run but she states the obvious, the city will resist young people and actual change and that is required. Fresh ideas, and new faces.

    • Didi J Dalton says:

      Good point Rachel, where is that money going? Now I hear there is a new tax proposed to ” Help fight crime” More specifically to ship out the AB109ers if they don’t comply. Why couldn’t the money they are getting be used for that purpose??

  14. rachel says:

    And beth….perhaps the budget shortfall wins with AB 109 money.

  15. Randall R. Smith says:

    Another anecdote to support Amanda. There is a sidewalk leading from a parking lot at Pilgrim Church to a doctor’s office below the lot. Ten expensive ($1,500 each) light fixtures were vandalized two years ago within a month of their installation. A courageous nurse caught the three teen perps and police were summoned. Case went nowhere, but the nurse did not quit. She filed a small claims action. DA was present and told the judge the action was worthless because the families had no assets and though one of the youthful thugs had a long prior record, he was not pursuing this case because doing so would be wasting time. Insurance company will not settle unless judgment is rendered against the guilty.

    Sam is right. Time for story telling is long over. Time for action to save our town is now.

    • Randy, your story reminds me of the teen thugs who set off fireworks more than a year ago at the corner of South and East streets in Redding, which resulted in a fire that destroyed an office building on the north-west side, which happens to belong to friends of mine.

      I covered the story that night, and spoke with people who lived in the nearby apartment complex. They said many people knew the names of the kids who set off the fireworks, and I watched as some of those people spoke with a rep of the Redding Fire Department.

      Those kids were never located and/or prosecuted. No consequences for them at all, but businesses were displaced, property was destroyed, and the building is now in limbo. There’s been lots of blame against the building owners for this “eyesore” but nobody’s talking about the kids who caused the fire in the first place.

  16. pmarshall says:

    I agree, we need real action. The problem is that our jails are full and those bad folks are let out to do over again their crimes. We have judges who seem to be very “forgiving” of these crimes. I agree maybe a tax could help, so that there are more police available. It would be worth it. Many complain about taxes, but sometimes it is necessary — unless we want to continue with more and more crime.

    • Mike Fisher says:

      I believe there are 100+ Empty jail beds in the Shasta County Jail. Springfield, OR voters passed a Jail Levy on themselves to build a brand new 100 bed jail. Their crime rates dropped a lot and the Jail expenses are less than predicted, because of all the Bond/Bail fees paid by the minor offenders. They just passed a new 5 year extension on this Jail Levy, because they can see/feel the difference in Springfield. Filling your existing empty jail beds with a Jail Levy would make a big difference in Redding. Blaming Jerry Brown/AB 209 etc won’t make any difference!

  17. Patrick says:

    These homeless are taking over the city parks as well. Hold on a minute, what have they contributed to their usage>? Nothing. No taxes paid, just passing through Redding and destroy all they want. They don’t give a rip about public property or
    OUR parks. I have emailed pictures of these con artists with their hoods up at Lake Redding park where they hang out all day long with vicious Pit Bull dogs, pooping everywhere (not cleaning up any either), leaving their beer bottles and chip bags all over, hogging the picnic tables for 10-12 hrs a day, stealing toilet paper from the public restrooms, ruining the entire park. The director has tried but failed to get these people removed from Lake Redding park. It will end up like the one’s near city hall… just the bums, no local people using it BUT we have to pay taxes for them to use it. Something just isn’t right bout this!!

  18. Larry Sparman says:

    I will be there Wednesday night. I can walk to the City Hall because I only live one and a half a blocks away. You naysayers should check out the lawn behind our City Hall. RPD ran them out of South City Park and now I see them every day, laying around on the grass with their bedrolls and shopping carts, (the shopping carts don’t actually belong to them, they are stolen). Isn’t theft a crime? Pine street Safeway wasn’t very “safe” until Safeway hired their own security. Thanks, Safeway, I can now shop without being accosted by a “homeless person” asking for some spare change, (while a drag on a $7.00 a pack cigarette) for something to eat.
    Do I seem angry? Yeah, thanks for letting me vent. I printed copies of you letter to hand out to my neighbors. Silence is Golden…

  19. HNel says:

    After living eight long years in the northern part of Redding and watching the area deteriorate, I took a $100,000. loss on my home (it was worth it) and moved out of the area. Because of the nature of my work, I was able to observe first hand the criminal element in the are. FACT – The majority of those who commit crimes in the Redding area are not afraid or even a slight bit concerned about ‘getting caught’. They even joke about the justice system. The same people (and the numbers are increasing) are arrested over and over and over ….again – They are plain not scared because they know nothing will happen to them. I happened to see Redding’s MOST WANTED online and there they were – the same faces and trust me, they recruit new people, give them drugs and show them how easy it is to commit crimes – and basically get away with it. They even steal from each other. How many times does a criminal get arrested for ‘failure to appear on a felony charge’ (failing to appear in court on a Felony) before they actually do time? My favorite is when one of these criminals is arrested, maybe for the third or fourth or more the judge releases them on OR , that is on the criminal’s promise that he or she will show up to court. And you guessed it – again, they don’t show up and here we go again. These arrests may not help crime but the numbers look good at election time! I wish I was available to go the 30th – it would be worth the 4 hour drive. I am sorry that I won’t be there. I wish you luck!

  20. Toast and Jam says:

    What will happen if an intoxicated person pushes a shopping cart past the silent throng?

  21. Hollis Pickett says:

    Re: Cheyenne’s comment…..if anyone else is not able to attend, see if you can find a friend who will hold up a sign saying, “(Name) is here in spirit” or some equivalent…..

  22. Angel Riley says:

    Its a start! We all have chosen to Ignore this problem for way to long. Hoping it would go away on its own. Time to stand up for ourselves and our beautiful part of the state, we once were all so proud to call home. The petty criminals are not afraid of law enforcement and punishment anymore!

  23. rob says:

    Why does Redding have so many that wont go away? LAZY POLICE…I spoke with more then one business owner that said they wont arrest them because they have to impound all their property, i.e. the shopping cart and all the crap, so they DONT because its just to much of a hassell. The authorities in this town would rather harass a few minor pot growers because its easy then deal (and free federal money to justify their existence) with the fact that Shasta County has one of the highest meth rates in the country….

    • Cowboy says:

      Those aren’t “their” shopping carts.
      They are stolen from various stores around town.
      And those things clock in at around $350 or so a copy or so, depending on the type.

      Think about that next time you see the prices going up at your local store.

  24. Tina Rathbun says:

    Great idea! How about starting a letter writing campaign to Redding City Council? Chief Paletti can hear our concerns but in reality he has to answer to city council.

  25. Karen C says:

    How I wish for former police chief Bob Blankenship to come to our rescue and assist Chief Paoletti…now there was a pro active officer, a local boy who kept our city safe with lots of police on the streets. About 20 CSO’s, gang task force, constant training for our police officers, and he was involved at the Sacramento level, as well! I understand times are different now, but I often wonder how he would have handled it.

    • Didi J Dalton says:

      I understand that the county is sitting on 21 Million of the AB109 funds!!!! Why are they wanting to add a tax to the people, if this is true. Something is wrong here. Everyone feels it. No one can pin point the problem. Because there seems to be a bit of deception going on. If I am wrong, I will apologize. But, the people are sick of the the crap that is taking place in our community. I don’t think it is Law Enforcement, I believe it is higher than that.

  26. Minks530 says:

    I am glad to see so many people commenting and getting frustrated – I hope everyone shows up…thing is, we are going to hear the same things…it’s Sacramento/AB109, it’s no jail space, no police officers, etc. Truth is until we stop giving out freebies and not holding people accountable they are going to keep coming here and they are going to keep dragging down our town.

  27. Dave Andrade says:

    What has happened with the “quiet protest” plans?

    • EasternCounty says:

      Why do you feel that has changed? Merely because a lot of us plan to attend doesn’t mean we are going to do anything more than show support for businesses that are being harassed and be counted as being fed up with being fearful while walking or shopping or even staying at home.

  28. Walk a Mile says:

    And do you think all the illegal, gang banger, cartel, death squad supposed “children” that our government is flying into our country from all over the world, is really going to help our situation here in Redding? I know locally we are not being effected yet. But it’s only a matter of time before everyone realizes that our problem here now is soooo tiny compared to what’s to come with these non-Americans. Please everyone go to and browse over the several laws already enacted to protect and serve illegal “American” citizens….that’s right, they have granted citizenship, housing, food, military service, government ranking, employment, business loans, numerous grants, and pretty much gave them more rights and funding than all of us! Sorry everyone. I don’t mean to be so negative(but I’m in a bit of a shock after reading all the new legislation and financial support for these illegals)….I just want you to know what our good ole president is doing NOW to improve our situation here in redding!:( We will be like Los Angeles before you can even read and interpret all the new plans the US gov. has for us! Don’t take my word for it though, this is not opinion, this is true factual law….go to and see for yourself!

    • cheyenne says:

      Wyoming is the only state that doesn’t have an immigration reform office to inform immigrants of all the free services available. If immigrants want to come to Wyoming to work, Welcome. With 3% unemployment we have jobs. If immigrants want free services go somewhere else.
      The WTE had an article about immigrants from other countries who have come to Wyoming to work in the hospitality industry. The immigrants are very happy and want to stay here. Give immigrants jobs, not free services.
      Like the old but true saying, a hand up not a hand out.

  29. Former Magnolia Neighborhood Resident says:

    As for the current Redding City Council……..VOTE ALL OF THEM OUT! They’ve been in bed with the private sector too long. Recently read in the newspaper, Police Chief Paoletti suggested a Crime Home Show, selling products to prevent being a crime victim. Okay, so we’ve bought security systems, motion detectors, heavy-duty locks, a dog, leave nothing of value in our cars, know our neighbors, etc. etc. And, we’re still spending money each month replacing everything the CRIMINALS have stolen or vandalized.
    And when we’re a VICTIM OF CRIME over and over and over again, what next? Hire private security forces for each Redding neighborhood? Okay, so what about the CRIMINALS? Catch them and prosecute them, for crying out loud! Get the predators out of here!

  30. DG says:

    Owner Executive Limo Bus
    A lot of southern Cali people always believed that Northern California is the coolest place to live, we’ll it isn’t it gets hot up here, so when I tell them about the crime they laugh at me. 7 years ago I moved up here, and I loved it, but after awhile i got home sick started looking for some graffiti, I was so disappointed something to remind me of home. So the day finally came Yard work and 3 1/2 acres, babe going to Home Depot go get some day labors. I drove around 3 times what the hell, I saw no one. Then went to Lowe’s spotted one character workers status jeans boots scruffy sitting in the corner parking lot. I drove over, he got up walked over to me I rolled down my window he’s starting to say it took me long enough and started handing me money. So this guys looking at me i’m looking at him like he’s crazy, and he’s says hay man John Doe said you were going to be 5 min not half hr now come on man give me the drugs. I rolled up my window went home and said babe it’s time to get a gate and a gun around our property, especially after hiring workers of all sorts and some good ones some not so good ones. Now down in the big metropolitan areas I can see why it’s a losing battle getting a control on the crime all the issues down there. But Redding’s no different, than in any other major metropolitan city, Redding’s a big little city. The only reason it’s is the same because it’s the same major problems that big cities have. But small little city big time crimes that have doubled. I listen to what people say about Redding’s problems and hear why we have so much crime and homeless and drug problems in Redding. But until the city is able to understand what ways they need to approach to get rid of the money maker problem that is about to explode in their face. Not getting rid of the Susanville Prisoners or at least split it up between cities? News Flash oh that’s right where going to start losing MONEY, but there’s going to be a bigger problem if a change in police polices arrest criminals on Friday sweeps and Saturday they’re let right back out look what the police tried to do, get as many people rounding them up putting them in jail and someone did there job. People got paid and drugs got off the streets to show look we got a handle I get it. But who’s going to take responsibility when something bad happens to me after an AB109 or a Prop 47 & 57 harms or injures me just because he wants to get high and all i’m doing is my job, trying to get home to my family after a job, probably saved someones life by taking them home, and then i get taken out? Who’s going to take care of my family? You ? Now i’m out at night and that’s all i need is some AB109 PROP 47-57 and there’s no blame game here just, “What you gonna Do” keep the greed or take care of the solution.

    I’m Done i sound like i care and can’t do anything about it

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