Monday, August 29, 2005

Panhandling laws beg lawsuit

"Why, oh, why" comes to light in this post, again.

Think again.

Downtown's "economic vitality" is the reason given for expanding laws and shrinking freedoms under the concepts of new panhandling laws.

Some must think that downtown's economic vitality hinges upon the down-and-out who are homeless.

The Downtown Partnership has been gathering its forces, plus the mayor and city council so as to leverage "partnerships" and gang-up upon the homeless folks.

I think of the playground order: "Pick on someone your own size."

City's panhandling limits beg lawsuit - Civil rights advocates are warning that Pittsburgh's attempt to give the bum's rush to Downtown panhandlers could land the city in the same losing free-speech fight that has doomed anti-begging ordinances across the country.

In the name of economic prosperity, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership is asking the city to limit when and where people can beg for money. Of particular concern are scraggly, unwashed homeless people who approach customers outside stores, restaurants and ATM machines. The partnership's proposal would outlaw begging at night and soliciting people as they enter many businesses.

Simply put: The keys to the revitalization of downtown's economic development don't rest with the homeless. Furthermore, those (i.e., PDP) that what to drive our partnerships on that pathway are not well suited for Pittsburgh's solutions.

Perhaps the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnerships is failing at its core mission of building partnerships and vitality.

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