Aggressive Soliciation Bill Appears Dead


Thank you, Councilmembers Rasmussen, Licata, Harrell and O'Brien!

Mayor McGinn, let's do this right. Veto this bill.
has Jean Godden SEEN a panhandler since she's been on council? i get the feeling she doesn't walk around town much.
Five voted for it? That's lovely.
Think of the bright side, we'll still be able to enjoy bum fights.
I hope O'Brien doesn't change his mind again. That would be embarrassing for him, me, you, Seattle, humanity. Stick with no now, OK? Another flip would look weird.

I am going to keep asking if McGinn intends to do anything concrete, or just talk until the issue fades away until the next go around.
@2: Those are the guys with the funny hats at Canlis, right?

(I keed, I keed)
"Roughly two-thirds of the people testifying before the council today were objecting to the bill."

And the majority of the Council still voted for it?

Man, this city's politics are fucked up.
@5: McGinn signs (or vetoes) bills and proposes policy-- that's his job. City Council does all the heavy lifting. McGinn has expressed without any kind of uncertainty what the offending part of the ordinance was so it should be easy for the council to just recreate the bill and pass it unanimously.

Heck, if you listened to the Council today, they all pretty much confirmed within the ranks of those opposed that they'd like everything BUT the citation/enforcement aspect and to stick with patrols, social services funding and more community outreach.

The recession has bottomed out and we're headed back upward steadily. Shouldn't be too hard to put forth the idea and begin funding it, especially with more folks moving into the downtown core to work and live.
@7, because the audience at a council meeting in the middle of a work day is totally representative. Of something. "People with no pressing demands on their time", most likely.

By that measure, about 90 percent of Seattle supports the Chihuly museum.
@8 But let's be honest: the citation/enforcement is what the business interests downtown wanted, because it's a tool that could be used to have police clear people away from their properties and customers. Now that this aspect of the law is on the way out, let's start calling it what it really was. If that wasn't true the business groups downtown wouldn't be keeping actual SPREADSHEETS on homeless people with identifying details. All this has ever been was a backdoor way to privatize the police to "spruce up" downtown for commercial interests. I'm sure Tim saw additional benefits of this to help the homeless, but that enforcement aspect was so odorous that it itself needed a shelter cleanup.
@9: Folks at this type of meeting are usually professionals within a related or relevant field.

They all cleared out after the vote.
No, we aren't all paid professionals, Baconcat.

The funding is problematical because the City has no money for more funding -- $50M down. That's what made Burgess's protestations about funding for social services/outreach so...untrue.
@13, and the mayor's protestations about same equally untrue.
@13: Hence "usually" :)
Hey, read the Slog, aggressive panhandlers are already hitting the banks. Great job mayor, so much for listening to the people of Seattle.
It is already illegal to panhandle aggressively. This is just lame ass lawmaking which makes it easier to cite violators., i.e. hand them a ticket, where before they got an afternoon or more in jail (read: free hotel for a night).

Unfortunately, homeless people can't/ won't pay their fines, which will lead to a pile of bench warrants for homeless people, who will now be defending themselves for failure to pay a fine instead of the original offense. (read: more costs for the same crime) This law is crap.
So now O'Brien looks like a total ass...
@18 -- You're right.

All panhandlers are homeless people who can't pay their fines because they don't have addresses and don't know how to read citations.

By that logic, we should never cite them or arrest them for anything.
@20: "By that logic, we should never cite them or arrest them for anything."

Well, not exactly...
Will be really funny in three years when Seattle, fed up with indigents running the downtown streets (and apparently now Ballard) elects a mayor that makes Giuliani look like a kind, smiling kindergarten teacher.
#22: Are you saying Seattle is going to elect Tim Burgess mayor? Not likely.

The city council seeks to solve problems on the streets by making new laws. The only way a law works is if it is written properly, is used by police correctly, and makes sense for society. This one fails in all three categories. That was my point, I wasn't endorsing homeless amnesty (which I would do, but that's another post)..... The "logic" you seek within the fact that homeless people have issues paying fines is headache inducing. Did you misunderstand me?
Anyone who puts the SLOG down as silly or juvenile needs to take a look at how hard you guys worked on this -- fuckin' A, man -- the Stranger rules, Burgess droolz.
Big victory for McGinn. Big loss for Burgess.
@26 except that McGinn will be held accountable for the complete failure of the city to do anything about downtown's indigent population or public safety, and increasingly looks like a do-nothing obstructionist.
@25, 26 --

Do you think this issue is going away? After Burgess and Downtown made such a big deal out of how aggressive the panhandlers are?

McGinn concurred in his "I will veto" speech. He basically said "there is a problem but this is the wrong solution."

So the issue is his. As a mayor, you can't bad-mouth a neighborhood -- esp. downtown -- in order to kill a bill meant to help and then do nothing to help yourself.

I look forward to his solution. I will hold my breath until then.
@27 - you're new here, aren't you.

Check the stats for back in the prior recessions. The problem is we have rich non-citizen millionaires living down there now, whereas before we didn't.
@28 - It's all a bunch of bullshit. Nobody likes aggressive panhandlers, but this law was stupid. The entire thing was a political play by Burgess.

1) Aggressive panhandling is already illegal.
2) Seattle doesn't have any money, and hence doesn't have any cops to enforce the existing law or a new law.
3) Lots of people are out of work, hence more than the usual number of panhandlers.
4) People who are afraid of homeless people ought not live downtown.
@30 -- There is no problem with aggressive and obnoxious panhandling downtown?

I understand you may not have a problem with panhandling downtown. I take the downtown business people and the police at their word when they say people who are not you feel intimidated downtown and therefore shop / do business somewhere else.
@31 As I mentioned, aggressive panhandling is already illegal. What Seattle doesn't have is enough cops to enforce the existing law.

Making a new law will do two things: Jack and Shit