Tucson Progressive

Pamela J. Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

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


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

Comments are closed.


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

Follow Me on Twitter

Follow Tucson Progressive on WordPress.com


The Tucson Progressive: Pamela J. Powers

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 focused on economic reforms to grow Arizona’s economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, grow local small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs.

In the Arizona House, I was a strong voice for fiscal responsibility a moratorium on corporate tax breaks until the schools were fully funded, increased cash assistance to the poor, expansion of maternal healthcare benefits, equal rights, choice, unions, education at all levels and protecting our water supply.

After three terms, I retired from the Arizona Legislature in January 2023 but will continue to blog and produce my podcast “A View from the Left Side.”

%d bloggers like this: