DMI Blog

Karin Dryhurst

Criminalizing Poverty

Giuliani may not be president. But his obsession with "quality of life" crimes sure has caught on in some cities.

Cites from the South to the Northwest have decided they need to add "teeth" to their panhandling laws--someone's gotta show homeless people who's boss. Especially during an economic downturn when more and more families are struggling to get by.

It seems Atlanta and Seattle have decided that their currently existing laws against "aggressive panhandling" are too difficult to enforce and have decided to make them tougher.

A proposed ordinance in Seattle would add a $50 fine to the charge. And Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has promised to "deal with this issue in a very muscular way."

Apparently not enough people have been arrested under the existing Atlanta ordinance (only 2,600!). One business leader suggests it's time to "take out the social stuff and the warnings and let the police police it."

Can't we just leave pining over the '90s to Giuliani and friends?

Karin Dryhurst: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 6:11 PM, Mar 17, 2010 in Cities
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