Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Proposed Tucson Ordinances Spark Calls for Protest & Attendance at March 17 City Council Meeting

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Occupy Tucson encampment at Veinte de Agosto Park.

If your first amendment rights are important to you, you should start watching the Tucson City Council agendas very closely.

Embarrassed by the Safe Park quagmire and the subsequent scolding by the district court judge, City Attorney Mike Rankin wants to crack down … on them and on us.

Thanks to a tip and a Facebook event invite from local activists, I learned about two bad ordinances that were scheduled for tomorrow’s City Council meeting. (See items #13 and #14 on the agenda here.)

Ordiance Prohibiting Camping or City Sidewalks and Other City Property (PDF) seeks to prevent another Safe Park or Occupy Tucson from happening. The memo clearly states that “homelessness is not a crime, and only the conduct of camping, and not the state of homelessness, is prohibited by the Code.” So, where are the homeless supposed to go when there aren’t enough beds in shelters? Are they supposed to camp or sleep on private property– like one of those cute front yards in Armory Park?

Ordinance Providing for the Designation of a “Crowd Management Event” for the Purpose of Maintaining Public Safety (PDF) gives the Tucson police chief sweeping crowd control measures. The ordinance defines a “Crowd Management Event” as “a gathering of 100 or more persons that requires the provision of law enforcement services”; allows the chief to set geographic boundaries for the “Crowd Management Event”; prohibits people from entering or leaving the designated “crowd management” area; prohibits people inside the area from wearing masks or protective gear, like a gas mask. (Hmmm… just like shooting fish in a barrel with that pepper spray. What could go wrong?)

By early this morning, the Facebook protest event against the “Crowd Management Event” ordinance had close to 100 attendees who said they would protest at the Ronstadt Center beginning at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16 (today).

Less than one hour before the protest, the Tucson Sentinel  posted a story saying that the “Crowd Management Event” ordinance had been pulled from the March 17 meeting agenda, but the urban camping ban is still a go. The Sentinel quotes a memo from Rankin stating that the item was pulled for now but could reappear in the future. Pay attention.

One comment on “Proposed Tucson Ordinances Spark Calls for Protest & Attendance at March 17 City Council Meeting

  1. Pingback: Tucson City Council: Ill-Conceived Ordinances Wiped from Agenda (video) | Tucson Progressive

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This entry was posted on March 16, 2015 by in Arizona, City Council, democracy, downtown, Free Speech, Homeless, jobs, Occupy, organizing, Tucson and tagged , , .

About

The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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