KGTV-10 (ABC) in San Diego recently let us know that downtown San Diego is ready for Comic-Con.
More than 100,000 heroically adorned
dorks lovely people will soon take up shop in “America’s Finest City.” Banners are being hung on street poles, hotels are getting ready for the influx of visitors, restaurants are developing exclusive menus…and are police are kicking the homeless out of the area.
So nice when an entire city holds hands, chips in and works together, right?
Laugh if you want, but Trekkies and Stormtroopers are big business for host cities…even if they have to ignore their own citizens for a few days.
Meet James Loften.
James is an advocate for the local homeless who shares with anyone carrying a microphone or a camera the fact that San Diego police are forcing them out of the city for “illegal lodging and encroachment.”
He cares because he’s homeless too.
Loften told News10 that San Diego police gave him a ticket and a stay-away order for not having a place to live. It was six in the morning.
“People on these streets are unsightly to the public, to the general public and certainly to visitors coming in from out of town,” said David Ross.
Ross, who is better known as “Waterman,” may often be seen handing out water bottles and blankets to transients. Ross, Loften, and a few other vocal folks would like to bring attention to the fact that San Diego police are rounding people up to make way for the grand goober convention known as Comic-Con.
(FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m a goober. I went to the one in Dallas. I just leave the Halloween costumes at my mommy’s house.)
This is both a PR and a human rights issue. Yes, a large and visible homeless population can have a negative affect on the public’s perception of a city. Yet no town wants to inspire news stories by spending fat coin to put up lights for the new visitors when they can’t seem to spend a dime on locals in need. A spokesman for San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said:
“Comic Con is nearly a week away” so why would they “crack down this early?”
Why? Maybe because Comic-Con folks spend money.