A Letter to Erik Sten on the passage of the new "Sit Lie" Ordinance

I do not appreciate the passage of the new "Sit Lie" Ordinance and wrote a letter to Mr. Erik Sten voicing my disapproval and my reasons for it.

Well, Mr. Sten, I can't believe I thought you were different. But I hear on KBOO this morning that you and all the other city council members passed Ms. Katz' "emergency" measure and took a stand against the homeless again today.

I understand that you, because you work downtown, have to politely deny panhandlers every day, and I know how this must make you feel. I too had to turn down the "spare change?" question multiple times a day for years. It makes you feel a wee bit guilty, a wee bit used, a wee bit angry, a wee bit disgusted... But it's wrong to tell these people they can't do that, and it's wrong to tell people they can't hang out in a public right-of-way - even if it is all day in the same spot. These people do not block the sidewalks. They do not even prevent people in wheelchairs from getting around. They also do not prevent access to businesses. I've been downtown. No one has any trouble getting around.

read the full letter...

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