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Sat Jul 15, 2017, 02:01 AM

Homeless advocate's challenge of city camping ordinance goes to federal appeals judges

Homeless advocate Michael O'Callaghan hopes the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sides with him and declares Portland's anti-camping ordinance unconstitutional.

O'Callaghan, who says he is homeless by choice, took his case to a three-judge panel Thursday morning, July 13, in Pioneer Courthouse. At the heart of his argument is a request for appellate judges to reinstate his challenge of a 2011 arrest on the Springwater Trail south of the Ross Island Bridge for damaging public property, saying the city ordinance on which the arrest was based amounted to a violation of O'Callaghan's constitutional rights.

A federal judge threw out O'Callaghan's case in 2015, setting up his appeal.

Saying that Portland city employees have been harassing him for six years, O'Callaghan sued the city in 2011. O'Callaghan, a long-time homeless advocate and activist who lives on $785 a month, was involved with the Occupy movement, serving as secretary and treasurer at Right 2 Dream Too homeless "rest stop" in Old Town. He moved to Oregon in 2003 after spending some time in Alaska and Eugene, growing up in Tualatin.

"I can't go rent a room under $500 a month and leave me $300 to live off of," he says.

Read more: http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/366186-247605-homeless-advocates-challenge-of-city-camping-ordinance-goes-to-federal-appeals-judges

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