Colorado Springs City Council tonight passed a ban on panhandling downtown, which will go into effect in a matter of days. 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 ordinance passed 8-1, with councilman Val Snider the lone no vote. It bans all forms of panhandling on public property in a 12-block area of downtown. Proponents of the ban say panhandlers have made downtown an uncomfortable place to visit. But opponents say soliciting money is a protected free speech right. Loring Wirbel of the local chapter of the ACLU says it doesn’t matter that the ban is limited to a particular zone.

“The ACLU, on a local and state level is fully committed to challenging this ordinance as long as there’s any concept of a total solicitation-free zone involved in it.”

City Attorney Chris Melcher said the ordinance is modeled after another city’s panhandling ban which has survived court challenges. He said it will not apply to political leafleteers or signature drives, but it does mean the Salvation Army can’t station bellringers on downtown streets. Mayor Steve Bach said a hotel owner offered to let them set up on his property.

 

Comments are closed.

News

August 31, 2015 | NPR · Over the weekend, police arrested a man whom they have not charged. Police, however, gave themselves the $84,000 reward for tips leading to an arrest.
 

NBC via Getty Images
August 31, 2015 | NPR · Go ahead, use this article to justify binge-watching Orange Is The New Black all weekend.
 

August 31, 2015 | NPR · Perhaps the most controversial moment came when Nicki Minaj took on Miley Cyrus. It’ll be the talk of the water cooler today, so you might as well take a look.
 

Arts & Life

NBC via Getty Images
August 31, 2015 | NPR · Go ahead, use this article to justify binge-watching Orange Is The New Black all weekend.
 

NPR
August 30, 2015 | NPR · The teen heroine of Nicola Yoon’s debut novel, Everything, Everything, has a disorder that bars her from leaving her house. Still, her world is vast, filled with writings, drawings — and new love.
 

Patty Wagstaff Airshows, Inc.
August 30, 2015 | NPR · Award-winning aviator Patty Wagstaff tackles the extreme, but she was inspired by a simple takeoff gone wrong. Crawling out of the plane, she looked at her pilot and thought, “I can do a lot better.”
 

Music

Youtube
August 31, 2015 | NPR · A Texas band demands freakiness in its new video. Resistance proves futile.
 

YouTube
August 31, 2015 | NPR · You are a werewolf. You are a cop. You ride a motorcycle. You need a bottle of cheap Canadian whiskey and a soundtrack that howls at the moon. You need Shooting Guns.
 

AFP/Getty Images
August 31, 2015 | NPR · Five tunes from West Africa, India and Mexico (by way of Brooklyn) to round out your summer.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab