Glendale passes city ordinance banning panhandlers
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The City of Glendale is trying to stop a growing number of panhandling across the city. On Tuesday, the city council unanimously passed an ordinance prohibiting panhandlers. Specifically, it makes it illegal to ask for money in an “aggressive manner” in any public space, in a public bus or stop, and within 50 feet of a bank, ATM, or check cashing business. It also prohibits people from asking for money within 25 feet of the entrance or exit of any business or private property. People also cannot cross into the road on an unmarked sidewalk, or stand in the median.
However, leaders insist has nothing to do with the upcoming Super Bowl in February. Vice Mayor Jamie Aldama said the move was essential to ensuring the community’s safety, while Mayor Jerry Weiers spoke about a recent experience his family had dealing with aggressive panhandlers around the city. “I want citizens to realize on, don’t focus on the violations, focus on how much safer our streets will be and how much safer it will be for commuters visiting downtown Glendale or anywhere in Glendale,” Aldama said.
A resident named Stephanie also mentioned safety as an issue. “They used to stand on the side of the freeway and hold their signs, but now just some of them actually walk up to your car and it’s just like you never know. You want to be safe too,” she said. “I feel bad because they’re human too.”
Homeowner Jonette Martin says she agrees with the city’s decision because it also keeps panhandlers safe. “I think it’ll help a lot you know preventing anyone from going out in traffic for a bottle of water or a couple of bucks. I’m all for it,” she said.
Violators could face a civil violation (infraction) if it is their first offense, but offenders could face a Class 1 misdemeanor for any repeated.
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