Last night, the 36th District Democrats (Queen Anne, Magnolia, and Ballard) and the 34th District Democrats (West Seattle) voted resoundingly to oppose a bill sponsored by City Council Member Tim Burgess that would fine people accused of aggressive solicitation. The rejection by 36th District is a particular affront because that's Burgess home turf.

Citywide opposition is snowballing as the city council's vote next week draws closer. This past Monday, the 37th District Democrats voted unanimously to oppose the bill, and yesterday a coalition of 15 organizations came out in unified opposition to the measure. Some are contemplating a lawsuit. The Seattle Human Rights Commission also voted to oppose the bill and issued report, debunking numerous claims in the bill and outlining its potential ramifications for human rights.

At the heart of the growing opposition, the bill is based on faulty data, presents problems with due process for defendants, and is widely expected to have no impact on downtown crime. (More on the bill here.)

The measure is a result of the Downtown Seattle Association, a property owner and business group, lobbying the city council for the last year and a half. While Burgess and his cohorts at City Hall like to bang the drum that a handful of human service groups also back the bill, those supporters are outnumbered by opponents, including the Church Council, ACLU, and several human-service organizations. And the social service groups that have signed on with Burgess (like YWCA and Plymouth Housing Group), as superstar commenter Baconcat points out, have direct ties to the Downtown Seattle Association.

Tonight the 46th District Democrats are expected to vote on a similar resolution.