Power to the people

After 20 years of crisscrossing this land (in Rainbow’s own words) “trying to survive by duck, dodging, and hiding,” he sunk his roots here making this community his home and its people his family. To all of you who fed him, opened your home, and hearts to him, thank you. His celebration of life truly was just that, with folks joining together from all over with different backgrounds and memories. The love, food, and music that was shared that night will be treasured forever.

• To KMUD radio where Rainbow Mountainwalker made his first home and found his voice programming his “Magic Carpet Ride,” thank you.

• To the Mateel Community Center where Rainbow Mountainwalker found his purpose working security crew for all the shows and events, thank you.

• To the Kiwanis of the Redwoods where Rainbow Mountainwalker found acceptance and responsibility, thank you.

• To Old Coots for Scoots which gave the opportunity to fulfill his dream, thank you.

• To the endless number of folks who included him and gave him the opportunity to give back as National Director of the American Homeless Society, Southern Humboldt rep of the Homeless Task Force, the HOPE Coalition, the Citizen’s Advisory Committee to the Humboldt County Housing Element, the Mitchell-Redner Center, Southern Humboldt Community Resource Center.

Rainbow Mountainwalker gave back to his community because he was given a chance to stand up and be somebody. No longer was he shuffled and swept along like his life did not matter. While he walked among us Rainbow Mountainwalker spoke out, protested, and marched in defense of his unhoused brothers and sisters reminding us that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. In his words, “We must continue to stand up for our civil rights before they are all gone. Keep the faith and remember: Power to the People!”

We can keep the spirit of Rainbow Mountainwalker alive by reaching out to those who still suffer among us.

• Lobby the Humboldt County Supervisors to ensure that Jim De Mulling Vets Park remains a safe, public space.

• Donate to the Mateel Meal on Tuesdays – Thursdays your energy, money, and excess produce.

• Volunteer at the extreme weather shelter at the Veterans Hall when temperatures drop below freezing or roads become impassable.

• Learn the name of at least one houseless person, take time to hear their story or even buy them a cup of hot coffee or a hamburger.

• Contribute efforts for more public trash receptacles and public restrooms.

• Speak out against hate crimes where vulnerable, houseless citizens are targeted and criminalized for being poor.

• Open up your garage, your shed, and your heart to someone you know who know who has nothing, especially at this bleakest, most challenging time of year.

• Work to build more affordable housing and preserve that which exists for people not plants.

• Get involved in groups like AHHA- Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives which meets monthly in Eureka at the Jefferson City Center to develop solutions in creation of more low-income housing so that no one will freeze to death on our streets or in our bush.

May we all learn how to walk in peace together.

Cherie Porter-Keisner and the family of Rainbow Mountainwalker, Piercy

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