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Atlanta Looks at How to Curb Panhandling

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, June 24, 2005, at 02:05PM

The LA Times is running an interesting AP article today looking at a proposed law to limit panhandling in Downtown Atlanta. It's interesting to consider in the context of another city a situation that is so pronounced in Downtown LA.

"My own wife doesn't come down here," said Alex Nader, owner of European Kitchen Express, which overlooks Peachtree Street and a park. "We've had panhandlers come inside and actually solicit money from people who are eating."

He added: "If we call the police, basically they don't do much. They tell them to leave the area, and as soon as the police are gone, they come back. It is very bad for business."

Kenneth Strozier, a 46-year-old panhandler sitting in the park across from Nader's restaurant, said: "I understand people don't want to be bothered, but what are we going to do? We got no affordable housing, for one thing. This new law or whatever isn't going to change it."

Under the ordinance, beggars could still sit on sidewalks with signs asking for money, but they could not approach people for money downtown. In other parts of the city, panhandling would still be allowed, except within 15 feet of ATMs, bus and train stations and public toilets.

At the end of the piece is a link to where the proposed ordinance can be found.


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