IMPACT
04/28/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Proposed Anti-Panhandling Ordinance Could Be Bad News For Homeless, Advocates Say

Seattle's newly proposed anti-panhandling ordinance is getting criticism from homeless advocates, Seattlepi.com reports.

The ordinance, which would make "aggressive solicitation" punishable with a $50 fine, would effectively remove panhandling from all public locations in Seattle.

But John Fox, coordinator of the Seattle Displacement Coalition - an advocacy group for low-income and homeless people - said the ordinance is so broad that could end up targeting Real Change vendors and Salvation Army volunteers.

ACLU of Washington spokesman Doug Honig also noted that Seattle already has laws restricting aggressive panhandling.

"We don't see a need for new laws," he said. "If you're talking about the homeless, the focus should be on providing additional services." Honig said the ACLU is generally scrutinizing the ordinance for potential infringement of civil rights.

To read more about the potential problems with the ordinance and the city's defense, visit Seattlepi.com.