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Las Vegas: Don't Feed the Homeless

 
 
dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Wed 2 Aug, 2006 09:08 am
It's a dumb ordinance. It sends a terrible message about our civic humanity. Now, sadly, the city has decided to actually enforce the new law. Las Vegas city marshals spent Monday morning lurking about a local park citing radio station employees for handing out doughnuts and a television station crew for being there to film the doughnut handout.

The ACLU is looking to get involved. This is becoming theater for the mayor and the press and activists. How much taxpayer money will be spent enforcing and defending this doomed and mean ordinance? Will that leave less resources available for programs to help the homeless out of the parks and into housing?

Let's leave that for a moment and note one other item from the Review-Journal coverage. One of the radio station employees involved is Beth Monk, known on-air as "Backseat Beth." Monk is the traffic reporter. According to what Backseat Beth told the paper, feeding the homeless was not the only thing she was cited for. She says she was also cited for driving the wrong way on a one-way street, as well as driving without a license. Once again: the traffic reporter.
http://vegasblog.latimes.com/vegas/2006/08/the_media_and_t.html
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Aug, 2006 09:12 am
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Aug, 2006 09:36 am
Joe --

Sometimes, you accuse legislatures of imposing sham equality, and suggest that's at least iffy under the 14th amendment. This happened in several gay marriage threads, for example. Whenever you do this, you like to quote Anatol France: "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." This Las Vegas City ordinance fails even your "Anatol France test" for sham equality: It forbids the poor, but not the rich, to be given a sandwich in a park. This leads to two obvious questions. (1) Why are you defending this ordinance? (2) Since you think sham equality is a problem in the case of gay marriage, why don't you think it's a problem in this case?
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Aug, 2006 10:02 am
dyslexia wrote:
It's a dumb ordinance.


certainly agree with that. i assume this is motivated by a concern that unsightly homelessness will affect the almighty tourist dollar. guess what, tourists don't visit vegas to go to city parks, not unless they have slot machines or exotic dancers in 'em. Razz
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joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Wed 2 Aug, 2006 10:44 am
Thomas wrote:
Joe --

Sometimes, you accuse legislatures of imposing sham equality, and suggest that's at least iffy under the 14th amendment. This happened in several gay marriage threads, for example. Whenever you do this, you like to quote Anatol France: "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." This Las Vegas City ordinance fails even your "Anatol France test" for sham equality: It forbids the poor, but not the rich, to be given a sandwich in a park. This leads to two obvious questions. (1) Why are you defending this ordinance? (2) Since you think sham equality is a problem in the case of gay marriage, why don't you think it's a problem in this case?

Well, I'm operating under a disadvantage here (and I've violated one of my personal rules as well) in that I haven't read the ordinance, so I'm really defending the idea behind the ordinance. If the ordinance prohibits handing out food to groups of people in the parks, then I don't have any problem with it, for the reasons that I've stated already. If, on the other hand, the ordinance singles out the homeless as the only people who can't be fed in the parks, then that's another matter entirely. If that is the case, then I'd have to rethink my position on fourteenth amendment grounds. But I'll have to wait until I see a copy of the ordinance before I decide.

Nevertheless, I still don't think that the homeless are particularly disadvantaged by not being able to eat in the parks in groups, since other locations are available for the mass feeding of the homeless. Furthermore, I don't think that the parks should be used as sites for mass, unregulated feedings for anyone. If Ms. Sacco were operating an unlicensed pushcart and selling food, rather than operating an unregulated mobile soup kitchen and giving the food away, I would still oppose it.

Nor do I think this is an instance where the state is imposing "sham equality" on the populace. Unlike a law that forbids the rich to sleep under bridges or that allows gays to enter only into heterosexual unions, a law that prevents people from distributing food in the parks doesn't uniquely burden the homeless so long as there are other locations where they can be fed, and I see no evidence that suggests that the homeless in Las Vegas have nowhere else to go to get their meals. Compare that to a law that prohibited giving food away to anybody under any circumstance -- that would be more analagous to the "sham equality" that Anatole France criticized.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Aug, 2006 10:59 am
joefromchicago wrote:
According to the linked article: The city's new ordinance, which officials could begin enforcing as early as Friday, defines an indigent as a "person whom a reasonable ordinary person would believe to be entitled to apply for or receive assistance" from the government under state law.


How is someone supposed to figure out who might be entitled to apply for or receive assistance? They're badly dressed? Dirty? Stinky? Ugly?

If I'm thinking of offering someone my extra taco, I should pull out an application for government benefits and ask them to fill it out first - then I evaluate it, and decide whether or not to hand over the taco?

Seems sorta goofy.
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 08:00 am
I have to read John Grisham's The Street Lawyer (picked from a list of books ostensibly about divergent cultures/class on multicultural counseling), and write a book report that talks about how the book deals with homeless people. so its a kind of neat co-inky-dink that I just come across this thread now.
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Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 01:58 pm
@nimh,
Next they'll make food banks illegal? Shocked Mad
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RJ8541
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Jul, 2017 04:29 pm
@paull,
What countries? I need to move to one of those...
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emantha
 
  0  
Reply Thu 10 Aug, 2017 08:57 am
@yitwail,
I understand why it would be illegal to feed the homeless at a park. Parks are where our kids go to have a safe place to play. You cannot insure a safe place for kids to play if desperate people who have been known to rob, harass and plain out right attack people like a majority of homeless people have been known to do here. They come right up to people they don't know complete strangers to them begging in desperation for what you worked hard for I have a hard time just keeping me and my family afloat let alone some stranger and I myself have literally been chased to my car not followed but chased walking out of a store to my car. My ex husband who works in security and was in the air force as a weapons and self defence instructor was rolled on 3 separate occasions by the homeless here in Las Vegas. So imagine a woman or child who has had no self defense training at all would fare if it were to happen to them. When we are kids we are taught not to talk to strangers for a reason. When a person approaches me or one of my family I take that as a personal threat against our safety.
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King Arthur
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Sep, 2017 12:04 pm
@Dizzy Delicious,
Dizzy Delicious, do you live in Las Vegas? Do you recommend Las Vegas to be homeless but with a Job. I work in the Food Service industry but am Homeless in Austin, Texas. The Rent here in Austin is too high for an avg. hourly worker of 14.00 dollars an hour. I am thinking of Las Vegas to move to and work in one of those fancy hotels. I 'm a good cook . I refer myself as a professional cook/chef. That said , getting a job as a cook should be no problem, but how about Rent? Thank you
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King Arthur
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Sep, 2017 12:08 pm
@Dizzy Delicious,
Dizzy Delicious, do you live in Las Vegas? Do you recommend Las Vegas to be homeless but with a Job. I work in the Food Service industry but am Homeless in Austin, Texas. The Rent here in Austin is too high for an avg. hourly worker of 14.00 dollars an hour. I am thinking of Las Vegas to move to and work in one of those fancy hotels. I 'm a good cook . I refer myself as a professional cook/chef. That said , getting a job as a cook should be no problem, but how about Rent? Thank you

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King Arthur
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Sep, 2017 12:14 pm
@nimh,
Is Las Vegas a city open to the Homeless ?
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