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Indybay Feature

Harsher Downtown Ordinances Being Cooked Up?

by Robert Norse
The selectively enforced anti-homeless laws that severely restrict peaceful sparechanging, street performing, and even sitting downtown on the sidewalk are due to be made worse--according to a phone call I got from a Councilmember yesterday.
A City Council member has alerted me that an expansion of the Downtown Ordinances--enlarging the "forbidden zones" where you can't sit, panhandle, etc., adding new ones, and making repeated infractions a misdemenaor is on its way to the next City Council meeting. Or may be.

I contacted City Attorney John Barisone (420-6200) in search of information (and you should too, if you're concerned). Since he's the one drawing up the draft ordinances, he's the man to talk with. I've also left a message with Mayor Matthews (420-5020) seeking more info.

In the last few months police have driven many traditional performers (Cosmic Chris, C.J. Stock, Jay) off the avenue with capricious citations. Rookies have been falsely telling musicians they can't play after dark with an open guitar case (it's legal and not considered "panhandling").

Police violence against people sleeping on the levy was witnessed by half a dozen people last Friday morning--who were also treatened with tasering to keep them back from viewing the assault on a man named Irish by several police more closely.

The folks behind the new laws--if this Councilmember's info is correct--would be Mayor Mathews, ex-Mayor Coonerty, and Councilmember Robinson. The laws were cooked up in meetings closed to the public, but open to merchants, city staff and police of the Downtown Working Group. Call the Councilmembers at 420-5020 for info. on what kinds of wonderful new powers the police are to be given.
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Shadow
Wed, Jan 28, 2009 1:25PM
Robert Norse
Mon, Jan 26, 2009 11:26AM
Timothy Birdsong
Sun, Jan 25, 2009 4:20PM
Robert Norse
Sat, Jan 24, 2009 10:59AM
Robert Norse
Sat, Jan 24, 2009 10:55AM
Rick S
Fri, Jan 23, 2009 7:01PM
Madrigal Fan
Fri, Jan 23, 2009 6:39PM
a nonny mouse
Fri, Jan 23, 2009 4:23PM
a nonny mouse
Fri, Jan 23, 2009 4:19PM
a nonny mouse
Fri, Jan 23, 2009 4:18PM
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