Targeting The Poor

Regarding the proposed ordinance banning drivers from handing donations to panhandlers at street corners (“The Next Anti-Panhandle City,” Jan. 24):

The city studies to death the need for a new crosswalk or a traffic signal before going ahead. Why is this not being done before banning drivers from handing donations to impoverished people in need at every intersection in the city due to so-called safety issues?

There may well be a handful of intersections where responsible empirical research focusing on safety criteria yields findings suggesting the need for signage warnings about pan handling. In the absence of the city doing such research and demonstrating such findings, banning donors in cars from handing desperate people money or basic necessities is simply anti-poor, not pro-safety.

My bet is that the city does not want to do the due diligence required to demonstrate the need for this proposed ordinance. Meanwhile, councilors are about to hold a hearing on an ordinance to solve a traffic safety problem that they cannot demonstrate exists. Why?

The folks who are homeless and the growing legion of homeless rights advocates know.

Ken Neubeck