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

AP
April 24, 2014 | NPR · The boy hid in the wheel well of a jet that flew Sunday from San Jose, Calif., to Maui. Though temperatures plunged and oxygen was scant, he survived. The father says Allah “saved him.”
 

April 24, 2014 | NPR · A large piece of metal was found this week along the coast of western Australia. But authorities are convinced it is not debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared on March 8.
 

AFP/Getty Images
April 24, 2014 | NPR · Authorities say an Afghan security guard opened fire at a hospital run by a U.S.-based Christian group. Two victims were reportedly a father and son. Another U.S. citizen is said to have been hurt.
 

Arts & Life

AP
April 24, 2014 | NPR · Also: The shortlist for the 2014 Caine Prize was announced; Richard H. Hoggart, key witness in the obscenity trial of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, has died.
 

April 24, 2014 | NPR · Philip Short’s new biography of French president Francois Mitterrand, A Taste for Intrigue, is a compelling, polished portrait of a slippery, contradictory figure who relished reinventing himself.
 

AP
April 23, 2014 | NPR · The Mexican-born Kenyan actress has been lauded for her looks, her impeccable fashion sense, and her humility. Now People says she’s the most beautiful woman in the world.
 

Music

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
April 24, 2014 | WQXR · Conductor Robert Spano leads the orchestra and chorus in Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, music written for the 1962 rededication of the cathedral in Coventry, England, destroyed in a 1940 air raid.
 

Courtesy of the artist
April 24, 2014 | NPR · New York-based singer Melaena Cadiz’s rustic folk earworm, “Needles River,” was inspired by the realism in The Grapes Of Wrath and East Of Eden. But the video strikes a more surreal and ghostly tone.
 

Courtesy of the artist
April 24, 2014 | NPR · Albarn says the sound he helped create with Blur in the 1990s was not a celebration of England, but a reaction to America’s encroaching influence.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab