Columbus City Council passes new aggressive panhandling rules

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Columbus city council passed an ordinance to create stricter rules around aggressive panhandling in the city.  

Business owners tell us panhandling is a daily problem outside of their establishments.  Some told us they’ve had to stop aggressive panhandlers 6 or 7 times a day.  With this new ordinance council members hope to address some major concerns.

This ordinance will stop transactions in the middle of the street, make it illegal for people to follow someone who has told them no, and put a three-foot barrier around people using the ATM.   Council member Mitchell Brown said this is a good thing for the city.

“The activity has become more aggressive than it has in the past and they want us to be able to deal with that,” said Brown.

Madeline Stocker with “Yes We Can Columbus”, said she doesn’t think this new legislation addresses the root cause of aggressive panhandling.

“This legislation doesn’t really address any parts of the root cause of homelessness. The fact that the income inequality here is so stark between neighborhoods. I think one of the concerns with this is that it distracts city resources away from real sustainable solutions,” said Stocker.

The mayor now must sign it into law.

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