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Homeless issues central to Villa's Merced council campaign

SUN-STAR PHOTO BY BEA AHBECK
Monica Villa packs up some of her belongings during the last day the homeless can stay at the homeless encampment at Black Rascal Creek on Tues. Oct. 12, 2010 in Merced, Calif.
SUN-STAR PHOTO BY BEA AHBECK Monica Villa packs up some of her belongings during the last day the homeless can stay at the homeless encampment at Black Rascal Creek on Tues. Oct. 12, 2010 in Merced, Calif. BEA AHBECK





Monica Villa is putting the "camp" in campaign.

She's probably the only candidate for Merced City Council running her campaign from the inside of a tent and it's clear that she intends for homeless issues to be a big part of her agenda.

"I'm looking to bring the community together," she said, pausing briefly as a train passed. "I've been talking with people at quite a few of the various parks and they seem pretty supportive of the homeless and trying to do something for them."

She said she's tired of other people speaking on behalf of homeless residents while at the same time complaining about their lifestyle choices.

"We're definitely not happy about it. If you're going to stand for something you need to follow through. You can't ride the middle of the fence. I'm living out here and I have more plusses than I do negatives. I'm living where i want to live and people who want to live like this should be able to."

Villa, 56, says money spent toward council campaigns could be better spent on other projects. "People are willing to donate $100 to a political campaign. Imagine if they all gave $1 toward a homeless fund. All we want is some porta-potties and some running water."

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