Sunday, June 06, 2010

St. Pete bans all panhandling

In a meeting that lasted five hours, St. Petersburg city council members voted to ban panhandlers from begging on street corners.

While some are overjoyed to see them go, a great number of people are disappointed and say the ban goes too far. The ordinance not only affects the poor and homeless; non-profit organizations, charities and newspaper hawkers will all be banned. Charities such as firefighters’ “Fill the Boot” fundraiser that raises money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association are included in the ban.

Read the Creative Loafing report here.

Before the vote, the Times took a stand against the ordinance.
The city has made advances in dealing with homelessness in recent years. But elected officials who want real solutions should not embrace simplistic but politically popular ordinances that fail to address the reasons there are so many panhandlers. It is a complex problem that requires a more thoughtful response.
Read the editorial here.

Update: Read Alex Pickett's post here.


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