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Analysis Of Medford's Camping Ordinance

A temporary camp set up in Hawthorne Park in Medford after the Almeda Drive Fire.
April Ehrlich/JPR
A temporary camp set up in Hawthorne Park in Medford after the Almeda Drive Fire.

Just a short drive up Interstate Five through Medford yields a view of a large number of unofficial campgrounds and tents.

And the Medford City Council recently decided to crack down. The council met in special session to pass an ordinance banning camping along the Bear Creek Greenway during fire season, but the ordinance goes much further, laying down a number of additional restrictions on where people can sleep or otherwise spend the night, including under bridges. And tents are prohibited; tent campers could be charged with a misdemeanor.

Our discussion includes City Councilor Kevin Stine and Deputy City Manager Kelly Madding laying out the case for the ordinance and its elements.

They are followed by Justin Rosas, a lawyer who represents homeless people, and Emily Mann from the Housing Justice Alliance.

Two emails to offer: Emily Mann says she's happy to help people get to know homeless people, she's at emily.mann@soequity.org

...and Micky Lufkin says he has a plan to help get people off the streets, he's at violinmaster7777@gmail.com

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.