I've spent a lot of time downtown throughout the years. And I think panhandling is a legitimate issue to be concerned about and that needs to be addressed. What I haven't been convinced of, however, is that this proposal is the answer.
Back in 2009, we were told that a revised panhandling ordinance would solve all the world's problems, that this is something Mayor Ballard wanted to cross off his agenda in his first term. This blog covered it at the time. This blog raised questions, a year later, that panhandling seems to have gotten worse, even in places that the new ordinance specifically regulates (stop signs and traffic lights).
Throughout the entire conversation on panhandling, the ACLU affiliate in Indiana has consistently said they'd likely file a lawsuit over how broad the panhandling ordinance can be if it is revised. No comments have been given publicly that the position of the ACLU has changed, and it seems like both the council backers of this ordinance as well as the Mayor's office could care less what the ACLU has to say.
If you can make it, please join me on December 9th at the full council meeting to publicly oppose this proposal. It starts at 7pm at the City-County Building in downtown Indianapolis.