ACTION ALERT: Please write our City Council and demand they add a warning to the panhandling ban on narrow medians
Any fine or probation to someone with little or no means or transportation is a cruel and unusual punishment.
Please help the CCA take action by writing our City Council members today. Help us protect those who are already struggling in our city. This can be done with the addition of warning language similar to the Pedestrian Access Act.
Please write and call them today. Here is a proposed email scripts. Feel free to make changes or say your own sentiments, but please make sure to ask for the warning to be added!
I am writing to you this morning to implore you to consider adding simple warning language to the panhandling ban on narrow medians (Ord. # 16-776). Please consider language identical to the warning requirement included in the Pedestrian Access Act:
D. No law enforcement officer shall issue a citation, make an arrest or otherwise enforce this section against any person unless the person engages in conduct prohibited by this section after having first been notified by a law enforcement officer that the conduct violates this section.
As we all can see for ourselves, the PAA has been successful in its intended purpose to limit the number of people sitting down on sidewalks in the commercial districts. This deterrence to sitting on sidewalks was accomplished with 4 citations, all to the 4 of us who were arrested at the initial protest against the PAA.
The city has accomplished it’s public safety goals, AND no one had to receive a fine they couldn’t pay, probation or jail.
Please consider who the panhandling ban is targeting. These folks already have nothing. Please don’t penalize them for asking for help in a dangerous place. Just have them move on.
We hope at the 2nd reading and final vote that you will amend the ordinance to include this warning language.
Thank you all for your help in protecting those with little means to fight back against laws that criminalize poverty.