ALERT: Sit-Sleep Ban passes Auburn, WA City Council unanimously

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Wed, 15 Dec 1999 19:56:16 -0800 (PST)


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Who can help to protest and overturn this "no sit" ban in Auburn, WA?

http://newsfinder.arinet.com/fpweb/fp.dll/$stargeneral/htm/x_dv.htm/_ibyx/cg0302
6/_itox/starnet/_svc/news/_Id/628901640/_k/VPyIZl6WF0w8IX7p
FWD  Associated Press - AP Wire Service - Dec 14, 1999 14:58

     SITTING OR SLEEPING ON BUSY SIDEWALKS IN AUBURN
     WILL RESULT IN A FINE AS OF WEDNESDAY

AUBURN, Wash. (AP) _ Sitting or sleeping on busy sidewalks in this suburb
between Seattle and Tacoma will be punishable by a $50 fine under an
ordinance that takes effect Wednesday.

The measure, modeled after a 5-year-old Seattle ordinance, was adopted
unanimously by the City Council last week.

``Call me old-fashioned, but sidewalks are for walking, not sitting or
laying,'' Council Member Fred Poe said.

Police say the measure is aimed mainly at a few drunks, drug dealers and
prostitutes.

``We're just trying to be reasonable,'' Police Chief Jim Kelly said. ``We
don't want to put these people in jail, we just want a tool'' to avoid
illegal activity.

The law applies to anyone who sits or falls asleep on sidewalks in downtown
and other commercial areas between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Jerry Sheehan, a spokesman at the American Civil Liberties Union, and John
Fox, coordinator of the Seattle Displacement Coalition, noted that the only
overnight homeless shelter in the suburbs between Seattle and Tacoma is in
Kent.

That operation moves from church to church each month and is open only in
the winter because zoning bars a permanent shelter.

Sidewalk laws discriminate against all the down-and-out instead of singling
out those who commit crimes, Fox said.


``Most of society sleeps in a bed and not a doorway,'' Sheehan said, ``but
a person without a bed is still a person of the community.''

AP-WS-12-14-99 0627EST
Received Id AP9934859B03673 on Dec 15 1999 06:55

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