Commentary: Sacramento mayor on right track in addressing homelessness

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has made it clear he supports the "safe ground" campaign, the effort by homeless campers in Sacramento to secure a legal campsite somewhere in the city where they can camp without fear of being arrested. He's also made it clear that he believes in law and order.

By brokering a deal that persuaded homeless campers to vacate the empty lot they've occupied illegally north of downtown for the past few weeks, Johnson upholds both: the quest for safe ground and an orderly, law-abiding city.

"The campground at 12th and C streets violated city codes regarding camping, and it's important for all residents to understand why codes are written and why they must be enforced," Johnson wrote in his blog after meeting with homeless people at the illegal campground on Saturday. "Nobody wants to live in a city without laws. The campers made a statement. But there are less contentious roads to resolution."

Johnson is right about that. In recent months, as their numbers have swelled, homeless campers and their advocates have been more aggressive in their efforts to force the city to designate a safe, legal place for them to be.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Sacramento Bee.