Vagrants: Santa Barbara Backs Down

Santa Barbara Backs Down

For seven years lawmakers in Santa Barbara, Calif., took a tough approach to the growing problem of homelessness in the affluent city nearest to President Reagan's West Coast ranch. Anyone who spent a night in a public park risked a police rousting. But as the numbers of dispossessed grew, and police began cracking down, Santa Barbara came in for increasing criticism and ridicule. Last week, as Doonesbury Cartoonist Garry Trudeau lampooned Santa Barbara in his comic strip and Mitch Snyder, a Washington-based activist, threatened to march on Santa Barbara on Labor Day with thousands of homeless people, the city council relented....

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