Colorado Springs City Council is expected to consider a ban on panhandling downtown when it meets next week. KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The proposed ordinance would ban all forms of panhandling in a 12-block area between Cascade and Nevada Avenues, and Boulder to Cucharras. Interim Director of the Downtown Partnership, Hannah Parsons, says aggressive panhandling makes people feel unsafe.

“This is something that’s been heavily requested by residents of downtown – not just property owners – I mean just people in general.”

The ACLU of Colorado is keeping an eye on the issue. Staff attorney Sara Rich hadn’t seen the latest draft of the ordinance, but says any ban that’s based on the content of a person’s speech would be unconstitutional.

But Bob Holmes says other cities have enacted bans that pass muster with civil rights advocates. He’s the director of Homeward Pikes Peak, an organization that works to end homelessness. Holmes says he’s been advocating for action like this for years.

“About 99% of the people who ask for money need it to buy drugs, alcohol or cigarettes, no matter what they say.”

The council is expected to hear public comment on the issue at its meeting Tuesday, which starts at 1:00. If council members move it forward, the ordinance would be set for final passage at a later date.

 

2 Responses to Colorado Springs Council to Consider Downtown Panhandling Ban

  1. truartagenda says:

    Why can’t towns, such as tiny Colorado Springs, learn from real cities? Maybe we can even set an example. Due to minimum wage and no maximum wage, we have homelessness. What if there was a voucher system for people who care can donate to a store downtown and homeless could earn it by sweeping, emptying trash. It would have to be earned and used within the 12 block radius. After all ignoring a problem really doesn’t make it go away.

    • truartagenda says:

      I also recommend a system of lockers for the homeless to leave belongings. If it is all you have it is a sense of safety to keep it in a place, even if too small to sleep and eat in, is at least one’s own.

News

From Girl Scouts of the USA website
October 23, 2014 | NPR · More than 100 years old, the organization offers young American girls the chance to succeed. So why is it struggling?
 

Instagram
October 23, 2014 | NPR · All around the country, drivers are seeing signs that gas prices are depressed. Those drops helped hold down the latest consumer price index. But economists worry about too much of a good thing.
 

Reuters/Landov
October 23, 2014 | NPR · Fifty-eight-year-old Kevin Vickers is being hailed as a hero for reportedly shooting the gunman who attacked the Parliament.
 

Arts & Life

Tarcher
October 23, 2014 | NPR · Rock ‘n’ roll rebellion is mainstream today, but Peter Bebergal’s new book summons a more shadowed past, when artists like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin brought an occult mystique to the music.
 

October 23, 2014 | NPR · What do Beyoncé, André the Giant, and a soufflé have in common? Why, the accents in their names, bien sûr! The answers in this final round will be words, names, or phrases containing an accent.
 

October 23, 2014 | NPR · Have you ever been perplexed by the on-screen guide descriptions of your favorite TV shows? Us too. We serve up descriptions of shows, whose titles have been taken perhaps a bit too literally.
 

Music

Tarcher
October 23, 2014 | NPR · Rock ‘n’ roll rebellion is mainstream today, but Peter Bebergal’s new book summons a more shadowed past, when artists like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin brought an occult mystique to the music.
 

Courtesy of the artist
October 23, 2014 | NPR · Soused matches Walker’s spellbinding compositions and voice with Sunn O)))’s metallic abyss. Like the album, Gisèle Vienne’s short film is bewildering and fraught with terror that’s unspoken.
 

Courtesy of the artist
October 23, 2014 | NPR · In a candid interview, the ever-innovative pianist traces the lines between Buddhist chants, Sly Stone and Miles Davis, while shedding new light on some hard facts about his past.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab