Articles, Blog

Santa Fe suspends panhandling ordinance enforcement

September 15, 2019


SANTA FE IS THE LATEST NEW MEXICO CITY TO PUT IT )S PANHANDLING ORDINANCE ON HOLD. THE ACLU CLAIMS ITS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. THE CITY ATTORNEY WANTS TO GATHER RECOMMENDATIONS TO PROTECT FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS BUT KEEP THE PUBLIC SAFE NEWS 13 )S JACKIE KENT HAS THE DETAILS FROM SANTA FE. SANTA FEANS SAY YOU CAN FIND PANHANDLERS AROUND THE PLAZA… NEAR FREEWAY ON AND OFF-RAMPS… AND ALONG BUSY STREETS. THE CITY ATTORNEY SAYS THEY CAN STAY THERE… FOR NOW. Erin McSherry, Santa Fe City Attorney: “The city needs some time to review the panhandling ordinance in light of some concerns raised by the ACLU.” SO THE CITY IS SUSPENDING ENFORCEMENT OF THAT LAW AFTER THE ACLU SAYS IT VIOLATED PEOPLE )S FREEDOM OF SPEECH… AND IT DISCRIMINATES AGAINST THE POOR. Maria Martinez Sanchez, ACLU staff attorney: “We would continue to urge the city to just do an outright repeal and not replace it because we do believe that there are sufficient laws that cover any sort of safety concerns that the city might have.” THE LAW SAYS PEOPLE CANNOT ASK FOR MONEY IN PUBLIC PLACES BETWEEN SUNSET AND SUNRISE. Danny Martinez, Santa Fe: “The ordinance itself is very impacting because there )s a real serious issue with homelessness in this area and if they don )t allow the people to do what they can to survive then what we have is just a bigger problem with homelessness.” SANTA FE P-D SAYS IT )S GIVEN 13 PANHANDLING CITATIONS THIS YEAR. IT SAYS OFFICERS WILL STILL ENFORCE THE CITY )S SEPARATE PANHANDLING ORDINANCE ON (PRIVATE PROPERTY… LIKE AT BUSINESSES. SANTA FE IS FOLLOWING ALBUQUERQUE… WHICH IS STILL IN LITIGATION WITH THE ACLU OVER THE DUKE CITY )S ORDINANCE. ALBUQUERUQE AGREED IN FEBRUARY TO STOP ITS ENFORCEMENT UNTIL A JUDGE DECIDES. + THE ACLU HAS SENT LETTERS TO 10 NEW MEXICO CITIES — URGING THEM TO REPEAL OR CHANGE THEIR PANHANDLING ORDINANCES. Maria Martinez Sanchez, ACLU staff attorney: “Some of them have outright repealed their law. Others are reviewing their laws right now.” JACKIE KENT KRQE NEWS 13. THE CITY ATTORNEY SAYS SHE HOPES TO MAKE A RECOMMENDATION TO THE MAYOR IN JANUARY ABOUT WHETHER TO APPEAL OR REPLACE THE ORDINANCE. ELEPHANT BUTTE IS THE ONLY OTHER CITY THE ACLU COULD CONFIRM HAS ALREADY REPEALED ITS PANHANDLING ORDINANCE.

4 Comments

  • Reply saintⓋearth November 8, 2018 at 2:08 am

    It's a tough situation. I have personally witnessed pan handlers in Santa Fe faking injuries so I know there are scammers out there which makes it even harder on those that desperately need help. Maybe the citations the police give out could be a real job.

  • Reply travistreetrimmtrucking November 8, 2018 at 2:35 am

    Why was this being enforced or a law? Only when the ACLU gets involved do government change. It's common sense, but government common sense means ticket and financially break the people for power. Money speaks power in popularity over rights and freedom.

  • Reply Joseph Paul Ritter November 8, 2018 at 3:19 am

    The problem with panhandlers is most of them are out there who really don’t need to be there. It encourages people to not help themselves to get work, because most panhandlers really don’t want work, because you’re paying their paycheck. If the way to get out of their issues, they should go out and work for their money, not get handouts.

  • Reply ECduzitgood November 8, 2018 at 4:19 am

    With so much diversity I am shocked people need to panhandle.

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