Wednesday, January 07, 2009

ballard's vision: a city where he doesn't have to look at poor people

mayor ballard's crusade against the poor and homeless continues:

Mayor Greg Ballard will ask state lawmakers to broaden limits on aggressive panhandling.

He plans to ask the General Assembly to expand current limits on asking for money near ATM machines and outdoor dining locations to include a 20-foot radius from any spot where money is transacted.

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

i might be able to understand a moratorium next to ATMs, but parking meters? most of the streets downtown are lined with parking meters—so if this legislation passed, panhandling would effectively be illegal throughout much of downtown.

we already knew that the mayor would rather not have to look at homeless people. but don't we have more important things to worry about?

the economy is in shambles. the city budget is impossibly tight, and will only get tighter in the coming years. the city's murder rate—which candidate ballard spent so much time complaining about—went up in 2008. the city's police department—which he made a big deal about seizing control over—is once again mired in controversy. doesn't the city government have better things to do than obsess over how panhandlers make the mayor feel uncomfortable?

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