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

AFP via Getty Images
May 26, 2020 | NPR · On this broadcast of The National Conversation, we’ll answer your questions about what’s known about the virus and how it’s affecting the global community. We’ll also hear some of your silver linings.
 

AP
May 26, 2020 | NPR · More than 20 Republicans will sue in federal court to stop proxy voting in the House during the pandemic. Democrats approved the measure along a party line vote earlier this month.
 

AFP via Getty Images
May 26, 2020 | NPR · A link is added to a tweet in which the president claims without evidence that mail-in ballots are fraudulent. A Twitter spokesman says the tweet wasn’t deleted because it didn’t discourage voting.
 

Arts & Life

Netflix
May 26, 2020 | FA · Growing up, the comic — known for her Nanette stand-up special — struggled to read social cues. She says her 2016 diagnosis “shifted the way that I understood myself.” Her latest special is Douglas.
 

West Virginia University Press;
May 26, 2020 | FA · Nancy McKinley mixes screwball humor with social criticism in a collection of interlocking stories about two women who work at a mall in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
 

May 25, 2020 | FA · In The Splendid And The Vile, author Erik Larson details the British prime minister’s first year in office, during which England endured a Nazi bombing campaign. Originally broadcast March 30, 2020.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
May 26, 2020 | WXPN-FM · Mikel Jollett shares how ‘Hollywood Park,’ his book and album of the same name, came to be.
 

Courtesy of the artist
May 26, 2020 | WXPN-FM · Professional songwriting sessions in Nashville can often have the appearance of a lively social call. What happens when that work has to go virtual?
 

Courtesy of the artist
May 26, 2020 | NPR · Amaarae comes through with fire and Dijon breaks the mold of song structure. These are the new tracks putting names on the swirl of unfamiliar emotions.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab