Marching in Place

Redding’s generous nature has become a self-fulfilling prophesy about why we do not change and meet the wolf at our collective door.


Other places have adopted rules and strategies which work while we endlessly meet, study, debate, hire consultants, wring hands and continue business as usual. Our inability to face reality with meaningful solutions causes us to continue conduct which is fostering the crisis of vagrancy in our streets and neighborhoods.

Here are written ideas that work, but have not been followed. They are inexpensive, but cannot reach the threshold of adoption rather than conversation:

1) Do not give cash out the window of a motor vehicle. Medford passed an ordinance making such activity a moving violation. You simply do not see cardboard sign carrying vagrants there because that behavior is not rewarded.

2) Those engaged in providing clothing, tents and other hardware which endlessly despoils our open spaces must permanently label what is given. This simple task stops the land fill waste and makes the enabling party responsible.

3) Report illegal camps and join groups which help officials clear this health and safety violation.

4) The annual outpouring of Community Creek Clean Up is wonderful, but one day a year is not enough. Our priceless largess of open space has to be recaptured from those who are despoiling it. Retreating to our homes means the enemy has won.

5) Give to charities with a proven record of success.

6) Support the coming tax initiative to provide more community service officers and spaces to contain those who violate the law.

7) Become part of the solution rather than complain and wonder why things are worse.

8) Ask tough questions of officials such as why the Colt 45s had to hire private security when the new police station is a hundred feet from Tiger Field.

9) Insist the months of meetings result in real solutions, not simply adjourn to another date in the future.

10) Keep complaining, but most of all ACT.

Independence Day caused reflection of those brave souls who wanted a better tomorrow and risked everything to make change. We can follow that example and retake our community from those who are stealing our safety and liberty. It is long past time for the tyranny of indifference to be vanquished.

Randall R. Smith

Randy Smith is a retired physician, morphed into a full-time professional volunteer. He is a former member of the Redding Planning Commission and Cal-Tip Advisory Board. He is an active member and the founder of the Allied Stream Team of Rotary Club of Redding. He lives in Redding with his wife, Judy.

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