A nice peaceful chat…

Council Approves Panhandling Ban: Could this have gone smoother? I did not think so.

Derrick Boazman.jpg

Former Councilman Derrick Boazman was led away from the meeting in handcuffs.

I have heard a lot from both sides on this issue, and like most situations, this is not as simple as black and white. Were things so bad that the ban was needed? (I don’t know) Will the ban fix the problem, or move it? (I don’t know) … maybe only time will tell.

10 Comments so far

  1. karsh (unregistered) on August 16th, 2005 @ 12:17 am

    Oh wow…I don’t know how this whole thing will play out. I live and work downtown, so in a way I’m glad for the ban if only because it’ll stop me from playing deaf-mute to and from work and home.

    Geez, it used to be when “Brother, can you spare a dime” was just a folk song – now it can get you locked up!


  2. Andisheh Nouraee (unregistered) on August 16th, 2005 @ 12:17 am

    Let me tell you all a little something about Derrick Boazman.

    He was my councilman for a few years. What did he do for my District? Not a whole hell of the lot. The sidewalks are here are broken, the roads are still potholded, and the neighborhood is overrun with hookers and drug dealers. He vacated his office to run for City Council President. He lost.

    While he was my Councilman, he once got himself on TV by protesting in front of a pimp-themed masquerade party at The Velvet Room. He said that the event encourages prostitution. That same evening, I counted several hookers and pimps on the main street nearest my house.

    That he’d rather “protest” frat guys in pimp hats so he’ll get on TV, instead of real pimps in his own district, says all you need to know about his priorities.


  3. Andisheh Nouraee (unregistered) on August 16th, 2005 @ 12:27 am

    As for the ban itself . . . I hope it helps. I sincerely do. Panhandling in this city is a pain in the ass. I’m pretty sure that won’t though, for reasons I’ve already stated in other posts.

    That said, I’m deeply disappointed that this bill is actually considered constitutional by courts (my understanding is that courts have already OK’d similar bills in other cities). In my opinion, the city is trading the First Amendment for the sake of avoiding unpleasant conversations with beggars*. That’s not much of a trade.


  4. Briam (unregistered) on August 16th, 2005 @ 6:37 am

    Very interesting information on Boazman, I did not know anything about him, but that does shed a different light on it. An update in the article from 11alive says Boazman was out in 3 hours. The other six protesters arrested opted not to post bond. That, to me, speaks a little more on their commitment to the cause.

    I know there is a big push to enforce this ban by some companies… but will they be able to realistically enforce this long term?


  5. karsh (unregistered) on August 16th, 2005 @ 7:08 am

    There’s talk of CAP/ADID and some Downtown business posting collection boxes throughout the downtown corridor for donations. Today, the NASCAR committee will be downtown scoping out Atlanta’s bid for the Nascar Hall of Fame. It should be interesting to see if there’s any backlash.


  6. mae (unregistered) on August 16th, 2005 @ 8:28 am

    i promise boazman has never missed a meal


  7. Cap'n Ken (unregistered) on August 16th, 2005 @ 10:26 am

    I guess there aren’t enough “tourists” in my neighborhood to warrant protection from the nastier bums.

    I get that it’s the convention and tourist crowds that need to be shielded from the reality of our city for the sake of business, but the council obviously is not concerned about the issue of nasty bums, just the effect.


  8. Cathi (unregistered) on August 16th, 2005 @ 11:13 am

    I don’t understand the joint opposition to both the panhandling ban and the Gateway Center.

    Am I missing something? The perception I get from reading the coverage of this issue is that the homeless “advocates” want begging and sleeping in parks to be the primary options for people poor on the streets of Atlanta. I understand opposition to the panhandling ban, but Just leaving them to beg in the streets doesn’t seem to be very compassionate, either.


  9. Briam (unregistered) on August 16th, 2005 @ 11:24 am

    well, whether the ban is successful or not, at least: “The billionaire philanthropist said he has donated $600,000 through his foundation to the Gateway Center, a 300-bed facility for the cityís homeless.” I am sure there is some publicity motives for this… but still, it seems like this will aid some homeless.


  10. Nathan Best (unregistered) on August 16th, 2005 @ 2:47 pm

    I am torn on this issue. Of course not having panhandlers makes all our lives easier or at least a lot more quiet while walking around downtown. However, the majority of these people wouldn’t be homeless if they could help it. I find it hard to believe that any of them chose this lifestyle. Nothing is more degrading than having to beg for anything, so I can’t imagine what their daily lives are like.

    Most of us are lucky enough to finish our workday, enjoy some leisure time with friends or family, and know exactly where we are sleeping that night. These people don’t have any one of those things to look forward to during a day. At night, they run the risk of getting robbed or killed by others in their same predicament, gone mad from starvation and fatigue.

    It’s just a tough situatin all around. The only thing I hope is that now the ban is in place, is that the council or some other organization has a plan to provide some shelters or homes for these people. Not just in the sense of a place to sleep, shower, and eat, but a place to get educated and get some help with finding a job, so the cycle doesn’t continue for generation after generation.

    I apologize for the length haha.



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