Burgess Amends Anti-Solicitaton Ordinance


How about all the beggars outside the grocery stores. They're really annoying, too.
"Anyone carrying a little parking sticker down the block to his or her vehicle would have a 15-foot bubble around them."

Can we just make it illegal to do everything already? I mean, we're close to that now anyway. Police have more than enought to do already without this nitpicky bullshit that further victimizes the poor. Burgess should lose his fucking job.
I really hope the city establishes a department to paint the street and sidewalk with these circles, so we'll, you know, KNOW where the line is.
No sympathy from me with regard to panhandlers. Sorry, Dom. The more laws against it, the better. Agree we should fund the social services and enforcement provisions, though. I say we fund it with a property and sales tax increase. I'd rather pay people willing to work to enforce the law and get people off the streets than fund some hobo's whisky habit.
by the logic used in the bill, then bus stops should be included as well since people are handling money and may feel uncomfortable. of course, the whole thing is just a draconian top-down criminalization of poverty, but at least burgess could at least try a little harder to pretend it isn't...
@4: "Victimizes the poor"!? Are you joking? Typical bleeding-heart, knee-jerk reaction to anything that aims to make life more comfortable for people who make a decent living. Panhandling is a nuisance to the rest of us. I work for a living... call me fortunate or "privileged" if you must but I work 60 hours a week to have what I have. Why should I suffer the irritation of being pestered on the street on my way home?

Panhandling is not a victimless crime, nor is the panhandler, in realistic terms, made any less impoverished by it. It solves no problems, and creates a ton.
Maybe he should amend it to prohibit panhandling specifically.

That way the Girl Scouts won't get wrapped up in the same kind of net as that Thunderbird swilling bum begging from his piss-soaked blanket in front of an abandoned storefront.
Is it really such a big problem? I've only been panhandled next to an ATM twice in my life, and I live in the U-District for chrissakes! Sometimes homeless people are too aggressive, usually while drunk or high (I have been physically assaulted by a panhandler who was obviously fucked up on something, and seen similar things happen to others), but assault is already illegal. I just don't think this ordinance is really going to make that much of a difference in the end.

I do think it's cute how some people think they have some invisible "right to not be bothered" because they're working full-time. This is a city, it has poor people, unless it is causing you real harm you need to get over it or move out to the sticks.
So if I use my iPhone and iPad to make banking transactions then they can arrest the homeless guy standing next to the crosswalk?


Talk about your nanny state ...
speaking of grocery stores - if we use a debit card and get cash back there ...
i only work 80% of full time right now so i guess i should be panhandled 70% more than someone who works 150% of full time.
@10, agreed, the dangerous acts are already illegal. I don't understand the urge to legislate comfort.

@13, perhaps there should be an ordinance requiring people to wear tags stating how many hours they work per week so that panhandlers can make the appropriate adjustments.
I'll bet these rabid anti-panhandling zealots who want to fine then jail (because not paying the fine becomes a misdeamenor crime) the annoying pan handlers are also anti tax zealots. How the fuck are you going to pay the bill for Jailing panhndlers!?? I'm happy to pay taxes for real crime prevention and constructive programs, but this is more of the kind of "illegal sitting" bullshit that made everyone think Mark Sidran was a dick and cost him his political future.
No Dominic, it doesn't say there is a 15 foot bubble around a person walking down the street carrying a parking sticker. And the fact that you made that up is a measure of your desperation. What I still don't understand is the crusade against this ordinance.

I suppose if Savage ever dupes some councilmember into drafting a pit bull ban we will expect to see you first in line to condemn it if it doesn't include more funding for animal shelters. Just like you opposed hate crime laws that didn't include more funding for cops and jails. You did oppose hate crime laws on those grounds, didn't you, Dominic? Am I misremembering?
Any fines that get processed through the courts can be paid off through community service. 1 hour = $10, though they won't split hours for you. (That is, a $35 fine would be four hours of service, not three and a half.)

So, it's a straw man to suggest that homeless people can't pay their fines; they can, just in labor, not money. And hey! Maybe that labor will lead to, oh, I don't know, valuable job skills?
@16 - I would so back a pit bull ban.

Or maybe one that includes pit bulls, sexting, and using cell phones in your car.
Whatever. What's the likely percentage of panhandlers who genuinely need the money vs. those who are using it for booze, drugs, or something they could actually get from a shelter or soup kitchen? I'm going to guess it's pretty damn low. I'd rather people just refuse to give panhandlers money, but as long as there are tourists and weak people who can't say no, that'll never be a viable solution.
@16 ) You and I have a different reading of the proposed ordinance. It would prohibit:

soliciting from within 15 feet any person ... immediately ... after conducting a transaction at an ATM or parking pay station, [who] is handling in plain view any money, bank card, receipt, check or other document related to the transaction.

By my reading, this ordinance can be construed to say that a person who is "handling in plain view" a "document related to the transaction"--e.g., a parking sticker, his or her credit card, etc.--right after going to a pay station has a 15-foot buffer from any solicitation. That 15-foot buffer pertains to the person, by my reading, not only the pay station.
Holy shit, Dominic, you're going to double down on that tortured reading? You actually think a judge is going to look at this law and believe the city intended to put a moving bubble around anyone holding a piece of paper? Assuming the city attorney would be dopey enough to argue it.

You should get a quote from the City Attorney's office agreeing with this novel reading of yours. It would punch up your next piece a lot if you could get a serious person to say it with a straight face.
Waaaaah, I work a lot and I hate people.

I just say, "Sorry man" and that's the end. Too hard for you guys who work so much?
If I understand that map correctly, the dots are where people wouldn't be allowed to panhandle, correct? Which leaves an enormous amount of spaces where they would be able to panhandle - like virtually every street corner in central Seattle, as well as mid-block on practically every block. So the problem is...?
@22, that works just great, except when they start telling you to fuck off, or start following you, or rant and rave because you won't acknowledge their smarmy "hey! got change for a hooker?" bullshit. And after 15 of these in a six-block radius, it's rather fucking tiring.

To put it another way: Not everyone feels that panhandling/spanging is an essential part of the urban environment. For those who tire of it, they will start choosing to spend their money elsewhere instead of downtown. You might think this affects only the big evil corporations, but there are thousands of working people downtown at the lower end of the earning spectrum who depend on retail $$ being spent there - salespeople, restaurant workers, hotel workers, the various cleaning people at these buildings, etc... If people en masse decide that downtown is too lawless and/or irritating to deal with, then ultimately these working people downtown suffer because of a lack of customers and business. The more we allow aggro panhandling and petty crime to take over downtown, the more the working poor suffer.

Of course, if you prefer, we can let panhandlers, street kids, druggies and others take over the streets, and to hell with anyone who doesn't want to be bothered with them. Come back in 10 years and tell me how you like downtown, when businesses are leaving and noboby wants to live there any longer because it's such a shithole.