Earlier this month, the Anchorage Assembly voted on a measure designed to curb illegal camping in the city’s parks and wooded areas. The move reduces the number of days people have to vacate a camp from 15 to 10.
On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska said it will not take the city to court over the move. At least not yet.
In a statement, Joshua Decker, the organization’s executive director, criticized the new measure as shortsighted for focusing more on “criminalizing…poverty” than finding solutions to homelessness. But Decker also says that given actions by the Berkowitz Administration and the city’s Assembly, meaningful progress is being made to address the problem, including connecting more people with resources and housing.
The ACLU of Alaska says that while it believes the new rules might not be legal, it won’t initiate a court challenge, provided local officials maintain high targets for combating homelessness in the coming year.