Thursday, January 08, 2009

ballard on the poor and homeless: "we don't want them around"

more on mayor ballard's latest plan to sweep the city's poor someplace where he won't have to look at them:

Though advocates for the homeless questioned the effectiveness of such measures, the Republican mayor plans to ask the Indiana General Assembly to expand state law to include a 20-foot radius around any spot where monetary transactions take place.

Those spots would include parking meters, vending machines, newspaper stands and charity donation boxes designed to curb panhandling.

Current law already prohibits people from asking for money near ATM machines and outdoor dining locations.

yes, it's already against the law to panhandle near ATMs. in other words, this law is completely unnecessary. (tangent: the AP stylebook specifically says not to use the redundant "ATM machine", but in the indy star's defense, i think they've laid off all their editors.)

"Anywhere money is transacted, we don't want them around," Ballard said.

Administration officials said they knew of no other city that had pushed its anti-panhandling laws this far. Panhandlers who sit quietly with a sign would not be affected.

ballard apparently wants to set the record for the city most inhospitable toward panhandlers. he'd probably have them all put in camps if he could... anything to avoid being reminded that some people don't live in cozy houses across the street from a golf course like he does.


Doghouse Riley said...

I'm thinkin' we could just create a Cordon sanitaire (and call it the Cordon Blanc) a mile wide, from South Street up to Carmel, and require everyone inside to be happy, upbeat, and clean-shaven, and perhaps evince some measure of Pep in the Step, thus preventing the mayor and his ilk from having to look on anything unfavorable at all if they don't chose to.

We could put Chinatown in back of it.

Edgeworth Clip said...

You are assuming that panhandlers are homeless. The vast majority are not. They are likely "poor" from a middle-class perspective.

In any case, if the proposed law is unnecessary, what prompted its consideration?

stAllio! said...

did i say i thought that all panhandlers are homeless? i did not.

anyway, we already know what prompted its consideration. the mayor has already told us: these people make him uncomfortable and he doesn't want to look at them. his panhandling plans are motivated not by compassion but by its opposite: disgust and revulsion.

Doghouse Riley said...

I'm sorry, Edgeworth, but could you explain the apodictic certainty of "the vast majority are not" coupled with the succeeding "they are likely..."? What is that, the result of a painstaking and in-depth glance at somebody as you drove by?

I happen to know a lot of downtown pandhandlers. They are by and large the transient homeless--as are most of the "homeless", by the way--they may have shelter at times they can afford it, or they may have someone to stay with, but the same mental/emotional/drug dependence problems which keep them from gainful employment tend to preclude their being domiciled for long.

Anonymous said...

Would much needed law enforcement resources be moved away from public safety to enforce this? as the homicide rate continues up? Priorities?