46th District Democrats Vote Overwhelmingly to Oppose Burgess's Aggressive-Solicitation Bill


If the 43rd didn't have to wait until next week's meeting, we'd have passed the resolution overwhelmingly as well.
Ironic. David Bloom is working with the same legislative districts whose endorsements didn't mean squat last November in his big loss to Sally Bagshaw to scare councilmembers into opposing this bill.

What's the lesson here?
Oh, Dom, so hysterical. These people aren't elected officials-- who do they represent? Nobody.

In fact, people with the YMCA, YWCA, PHG, Compass and DESC support this, and they provide the vast majority of social services and address the vast majority of social justice issues in this city.

And what do these folks know? They aren't professionals, lawyers, politicians or anyone of any great importance.

Burgess and councilmembers who support this shouldn't be afraid of some namby-pamby nobodies whining. Their seats are safe if they vote to approve this.
Baconcat, please don't underestimate our influence in elections or legislative action.
Chadlupkes is right, Baconcat. Don't you remember just a few months back how influential they were in getting David Bloom elected to the City Council?
wow look at the sound and fury townhalls are the answer to aggressive panhandling and anything else that ails you yessiree you liberals sure know how to spend your energy on what's really important
@3 What they said. These groups aren't elected officials, but this IS how politics works. Burgess is elected to explicitly do the work of his constituents -- all of them. If something goes against what the groups that support him want, he loses their support. That's how everything works. Burgess can tell them all to fuck off if he wants, but then he's likely signing off on all their financial contributions, most of their votes, and definitely their organized support next election cycle.
Based on the posts I've seen on this topic, I think someone is sock-puppeting Baconcat @3.

@4 - and our Mayor.

While all the LDs outside Seattle thought we should vote for Greg or Joe, the LDs in Seattle were endorsing Mike McGinn.

Sucks to be the DSA and their "stakeholders".
Good on the 46th.

Tim Burgess has already mounted his 2013 mayoral campaign and his four-year shadow mayorship. But to make aggressive panhandling your signature issue?! While Seattle's dealing with multi-billion-dollar questions like 520 replacement and viaduct replacement that are going to shape this city for the century?!

At least Mike McGinn picked a signature issue of substance with his call for westside light rail. But what Burgess is doing smells like fiddling while Rome burns.

The creep that Burgess replaced, David Della, gave Heidi Wills hell for wasting political capital trying to ban circuses in the city limits. What Della was doing was just cynical politics. But now. This. Tim Burgess deserves this city's unsparing contempt for foisting this fake issue on us. Dear God, if this isn't a waste of political capital and time and effort, I don't know what is.
@4/@7/@8: The key to good satire...
Ya got me!

Pretty much everyone in the city, including businesses, customers, residents, and social service agencies, agrees that panhandling sucks ass. It's a real problem for commerce and a real problem for the alcoholics and drug addicts who are enabled by it. The only people who like panhandling are a few hipster assholes who see the bums as street ornaments that give the city an edgy atmosphere.

At worst, Burgess is guilty of proposing an ineffective strategy for dealing with a real problem that affects all parties, rich and poor. At the same time, no one is proposing any other strategies to discourage people from begging or giving money to beggars. It's all just another opportunity for the city's stupid factions to continue their tedious bickering.

Any chance the Stranger news team can step back from the axe-grinder for a few minutes and contribute something intelligent to this discussion? If you can't approach social issues with intelligence, you're not a liberal, you're just a hack.
Only in Seattle would there be a full-court press to keep allowing creepy hobos to harass people
Only a moron thinks we can stop or slow panhandling.
Without bussing them to the suburbs.

Like Mercer Island.

And Kirkland.

And Bellevue.

And Shoreline.

... going to be a lot of angry suburbs if this thing passes - look what happened in Tacoma and their suburbs.
@13 FTW!!!
@15 - More "satire"? If not, please read.
@18: Nothing listed there will slow or stop panhandling, they're all tuned to shuffling panhandling around or reducing the need (and not actual panhandling). In a world of finite resources and infinite need, you are not going to slow or stop panhandling.
...and I think it's rather telling that pretty much only the DSA has weighed in supporting this, and that local neighborhood chambers of commerce have not. They probably know where that toothpaste is gonna go if the DSA gets it squeezed out of downtown....
@17 - how's the mayorship of Mark Sidran working out for ya?
I got a question for you. Why should some drunk be able to hassle me at an ATM? Why should same drunk be allowed to follow me for 3, 4, 5 blocks while demanding I give him money? Why should the same drunk then be allowed to block the door to where I work and demand I give him money before I am allowed to enter? No one seems to be willing to address this part of the issue.
Except for being asked for money at an ATM machine (or parking meter), there are already laws prohibiting the other behaviors you list. Those laws also contain due process protections that Burgess' proposed ordinance deliberately circumvents. Most of the posters who question Burgess' proposal have "addressed this part of the issue" repeatedly.

Unfortunately, they are never ever enforced. I have stopped using ATMs downtown after having to ask 2 panhandlers (camped out directly in front of the BoA ATM) to please move so that I could reach the machine. It was met with some jokes about their percentage. They did move though. I have had on several occasions had panhandlers follow me for 3 or 4 blocks asking for money. I have had one block a door as I described and I have have one grab me by the arm to try and prevent me from entering a building unless I gave him money. Not a cop in sight. Why should I have to deal with this shit? Perhaps you can understand why I am a bit jaded on this.
@22 - those are already actions that the police can take action against. they're just lazy.
@19 - Bullshit.
@22 Fuck off cunt. Get use to living in a city or get the fuck out. Just becasue some bums bugs you doesnt mean you should strip away there rights. If they truely are harassing you there is already laws that cover that. If they are not (as in most cases) youre just being a finicky cunt that doesnt want to be faced with aknowledging the poverty problem we have. After all its easier to outlaw signs of poverty than it is to fix the root of the problem.
The 36th District Democrats (anti-panhandling bill) endorsed the guy that Reuven Carlyle (pro-panhandling bill) defeated to win his seat in the state leg. In case you're wondering who is and who isn't out of touch with the voters.
@26: Says the guy who's convinced we can almost completely eradicate panhandling? Okay, then.
@28: And the DSA endorsed Mallahan.
The toothpaste theory certainly explains why all the transients profiled in Dom's story ended up in Seattle.
@24 - if enforcement is the issue, shouldn't the solution be more enforcement, not increased punishment? I think we could use more cops walking the streets, downtown and elsewhere, and they can enforce the laws that are already on the books. laws, as has been stated above, that include due process, that don't target the poor for being poor or give cops, when they do happen to be around, so much unrestricted power.
@29 - You're the one making sweeping, definitive proclamations about things you have no way of knowing (aka "bullshitting").

There's absolutely nothing that can be done to curb panhandling? How does one arrive at such a conclusion? Did you think through every conceivable solution, including those that haven't been thought of yet, run them through your computer model of the universe, and find no effect?

I'm going to file "you can't curb panhandling" away with "there'll never be a black president".
This belief among these self-righteous champions of the downtrodden that nothing can be done about homelessness, substance abuse and mental illness on the street is quite telling.

Dominic Holden wrote that the homeless are "intrinsic fixtures in any city" and that "we can't pass laws to eliminate people on the street who are annoying or panhandlers with mental disorders who swear." I for one think we can pass laws to get the mentally ill the treatment they need. By definition, they are incompetent to make their own decisions and so it is our duty to put them into treatment. And we have to pay for that. Same for substance abuse: we can -- and we should -- treat these people medically.

Those who are competent to make their own decisions can be held accountable by the criminal justice system. If they fail to appear in court they should be punished. One of the flaws of the Human Rights Commission Report -- and Holden's unhinged essay -- is in trying to have it both ways.

These people who insist that we do nothing about the problem and accept that it will always be this way are part of the problem, and they are culpable in the violence Fnarf points out the homeless suffer.

Whether this $50 fine makes a dent or not is of much less importance than defeating the mentality that homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse on the street are things we can't even try to fix. In fact we can and should.
The poor have been with us since ancient times. As Anatole France said, "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread." It's pretty apparent that not much has changed in the last 100+ years since he wrote that.

By the way, how's that 10-year plan to end Homelessness in King County coming along? (hint - it's a laudable goal that's not happening any time soon, if ever).

But yes, let's do criminalize poverty - that'll fix it!

@34 - How is a panhandler going to get $50? More panhandling? Not one will ever pay it.

You make sense when you talk about striking at the root causes, but then you go on to suggest that this idiotic solution is better than nothing. How?

This will end up being a big hassle for everyone involved. I bet cops stop handing these out after having to show up for all the contested tickets, or, more likely, after having to process every homeless dude they encounter because of the resulting warrants.
You know what's growing, Dominic? Your panicky faux-populist hysterical hyperbole. Post by post, rising in an ever more distraught state of unreason. It's getting ever more breathless, every more frenzied, reaching a crescendo until


As you were. Sleepy now.