Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Homeless advocates rebuke Sarasota leaders

A recent onslaught of city policies designed to drive the homeless from downtown has come to a head in Sarasota, with dozens of local activists chiding officials for what they called blatant discrimination against the city's poorest residents.

"Frankly, I'm ashamed that this agenda has focused so much on the elite, the rich and the powerful and punishing the poor and the powerless," said Richard Martin, director of the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness. "This is an evening about restricting human rights."

Monday's agenda — which among other things included a measure to outlaw "peddlers and solicitors" from panhandling near the city's new parking meters — drew fiery and divisive debate between wealthy downtown condo owners and homeless advocates.

Read the Sarasota Herald-Tribune report here.


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