Lawmakers Slam Burgess's Aggressive-Solicitation Bill


Yeah you tell'em.
And so the mythology that Seattle is run by the DSA and we citizen voters are all their serfs is broken.

Stand up for your principles. Revel in what makes us Seattle.

And take no guff from the non-voting non-citizen "stakeholders" who we owe no fealty to, no loyalty to, and to whom no blood oath was sworn that made them our Lord and Masters and we their Slaves.

SHAKE OFF YOUR CHAINS, SEATTLE! We defeated the WTO and we shall not be forsworn!
See? I knew you'd start the guilt by association with Reuven Carlyle again.

Basically when the Stranger endorsed Burgess and Carlye, it was a close vote, with the grownups like Savage and Keck against the excitable kids like ECB and Dominic Holden. And then they proceeded to try to water down the endorsement with four attacks a day on the Slog warning the world that they were all in a big conspiracy with The Man to crush the proletariat.

How come Dan "human spam" Savage hasn't commented on the aggressive solicitation bill, anyway?

And tell me how the Union Gospel Mission and the Downtown Emergency Service Center fit in with the big YMCA-Plymouth Housing-Dick Cheney-Exxon-Mobil conspiracy. I know its a huuuuuge conspiracy but how huge? Is the Pope pulling strings too?
Not many social service organizations or social justice advocacy groups have stepped forward as groups to support this bill-- heck, not even sure if ANY have come forward to support it. On the flip side, the roster of opponents includes the majority of democratic parties in the city and several reps, senators, a county councilmember, the city's human rights commission, a former city councilmember, Nick Licata, local weeklies, the ACLU, NAACP and more.

The question now is this: whose side do you want to be on, Mayor McGinn? Think of who supported your opponent. Think of how soon 2011 is and the change we will be able to effect if you stay on the right side of social justice.
@3: Care to explain where any of those groups endorsed this bill?

Was it here:…

I don't see where the groups are endorsing it.
@5, that link shows the signatures of the DESC, the Union Gospel Mission, Plymouth Housing, and local YMCA directors on a letter endorsing the proposals. What are you not seeing?
Thank goodness none of these people have a vote on the Council. On to passage!
@7 - well, we could always send a few thousand emails and a few hundred phone calls to each city council member if you want.

You know it will happen.
What do social services programs who deal with the homeless think of panhandling in general? Seems like kind of a dead end to me. Does panhandling help people off the street, or does it have the opposite effect? Is it really important that people be allowed to beg? Aren't there better sources of help that don't involve harassing people with unwanted solicitations?

P.S. Just got back from NYC and didn't see a single beggar.
Jim Street? That's gotta smart some - you don't get more mainstream or respectable than that.


I work for a social service agency, and the overwhelming majority (as in ALL) of those that I know who provide direct services to homeless people are appalled by Burgess' proposal - and they understand quite well that most of their clients don't have "better sources of help" that can put any cash in their pockets than panhandling.

hmmm, must not be campaign time in New York right now!
Boy, Holden sure seems to think we should be governed by unelected officials.
@12: are police elected officials? you sound like you're ok w/ them governing over people... even if doing just that is not part of their constitutional stated capacity.
so Dominic, when this passes 6,7,8-1 and goes into effect, and SPD enforces it fairly, and there are no cases of homeless individuals being beating with billy clubs or tased for holding signs and peacefully requesting money, or minorities being rounded up and put in SPD vans and shipped out of town...can we finally put your tired, old hysteria to bed once and for all? Promise? Or will I have to read your baseless arguments again ten years from now when the next civility law goes into effect?
Not all panhandlers are homeless people and not all homeless people are panhandlers.

In all of the negative coverage on this issue, why hasn't anyone pointed out:
1. the mayor has no agenda
2. any plans the mayor tries to implement end up scrapped

We're still discussing panhandling because no one else in city government is doing / can do anything.

I'm in the city all the time now and the panhandlers have been downright tepid.

C'mon guys, spit on a windshield now and's getting boring!
@14, we can only hope. But chances are there will be the one or two anecdotal cases of injustice, and Dominic will have the chance to share with us again his particular brand of breathless, outraged populist hysteria that makes classic, frenzied ECB Slog posts read like Letitia Baldrige in comparison.
I'm not asking about Burgess's fucking ordinance, I'm asking about whether panhandling is a profession that social service agencies actively encourage.

The consensus from what I can tell is that panhandlers are often not homeless and often use the money to buy alcohol/drugs/cigarettes, which only facilitates their downward spiral. They could receive basic services from agencies, but they don't go to them because they want the money for other things. You should thus give to local agencies rather than giving to panhandlers.

In other words, panhandling is a lose/lose deal for everyone. No surprise that it's one of Seattle's most distinguishing characteristics as a city.
@6: Read the second line of the body of the letter Fnarf. You don't couch your argument by stating you're doing this as an individual unless you're doing it on behalf of the group itself.

@9: I was in NYC for 10 days, they were all over the place. They are either ignored or given money to move on. Oh, and they had a panhandling law, too!…

@18: Who believes Seattle is distinguished by its panhandling? Citation required.
@17 "his particular brand of breathless, outraged populist hysteria that makes classic, frenzied ECB Slog posts read like Letitia Baldrige in comparison."

True. It's basically Fox News for the hardened left over here in the Stranger newsroom. Truly unreadable if you happen to be the thinking type.

Surprisingly, ECB's writing has greatly improved at Publicola. I was convinced she had a personality disorder, but leaving The Stranger seems to have cured it.
@18: my friend is a social worker, and I was just asking her the same question yesterday, as her clients are in and out of jail, likely addicted to one or more drugs, and mentally unstable. she said that she has seen some of her clients panhandling, and that since they have housing provided as well as a modest disability income, the money that they are panhandling for goes to drugs, alcohol, ciagarettes, etc. she didn't want to put a percentage as to how many panhandlers are in a similar situation versus temporarily down on their luck, which I'm sure does account for a few of the panhandlers. there are organizations to give to if you want to help the homeless, but giving to panhandlers directly isn't usually the best way.

all that said, this aggressive solicitation bill is worthless.

I have been to Seattle many times, as well as most every other major city in the USA and Europe, and one of the distinguishing characteristics of Seattle is its absolutely astounding amount of drunk druggie bums.
It's interesting how many men pipe up to claim that beggars are harmless. Dominic admitted in his hit piece that it's mostly women who get hassled by the aggressive assholes.
@22 - you haven't traveled much.
@19, the executive director of an organization doesn't put his or her organization's name under his or her signature without putting that organization behind it. I have no doubt that the ordinance is a controversial one within DESC, etc., but the fact that their director is signing a letter asking for it to be passed does in fact signal the official approval of DESC.That's what official means.
What else is in this bill? Is it just an anti-panhandling bill or are there other improvements? If this is the only city issue worth reporting on, why don't we ever hear about the other parts of the bill?

Another good question: If this bill is 80% great and 20% anti-begging, why won't Burgess drop the controversial part and pass the remainder?

Or: Are there safeguards Burgess could put into the bill to address Dominic's concerns?
@26) The bill includes zero provisions for those things--like more police, foot patrols, and services. None. This is the panhandling bill that the DSA and chamber of commerce have been trying to get passed for years.
@25: Are they all the Executive Directors of their respective organizations? No.

I don't give a flying fuck if homeless people use spare change to buy beer or cigarettes, and neither do the people I work with.

Oops, meant @18 referring to my post @10....

And to put a finer point on it, I also don't care if they're low income people w/housing who buy beer or cigarettes, either.