Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pensacola Ordinance Could Kill Homeless People

Via Crooks and Liars: a Pensacola, Florida ordinance could make homeless people freeze to death. Under the ordance, homeless people are not even allowed to have blankets or a sleep bag when they sleep. This is incredibly cruel and people. The elected officials of Pensacola should be a shamed of themselves.

Here is the ordinance.

AN ORDINANCE CREATING SECTION 8-1-22 OF THE CODE OF THE CITY OF PENSACOLA, FLORIDA; PROHIBITING CAMPING AS DEFINED ON ALL PUBLIC PROPERTY OF THE CITY PROVIDING EXCEPTIONS; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; REPEALING CLAUSE; PROVIDING EFFECTIVE DATE.

WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Pensacola, Florida hereby finds that in order to provide for, secure and promote the aesthetics, sanitation, public health, and safety of its citizens, it is necessary and in the public interest to adopt an Ordinance prohibiting in part and regulating the conduct of camping on public property, as defined, within the city limits.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY OF PENSACOLA, FLORIDA:

SECTION 1. Section 8-1-22 of the Code of the City of Pensacola, Florida is hereby created to read as follows:

Sec. 8-1-22 Camping prohibited; exceptions

(1) For purposes of this section “camping” is defined as:

(a) Cooking over an open flame or fire out-of-doors; or

(b) Bathing in public for purposes of personal hygiene; or

(c) Sleeping out-of-doors under one of the following circumstances:

(i) Adjacent to or inside a tent or sleeping bag, or

(ii) Atop and/or covered by materials such as a bedroll, cardboard, newspapers, or

(iii) Inside some form of temporary shelter

(2) Camping is prohibited on all public property, except as may be specifically authorized by the appropriate governmental authority.

(3) Camping is prohibited on all property in the City used for residential purposes; provided, however that camping is permitted on such property with permission and consent of the property owner.

(4) An individual in violation of this ordinance, who has no private shelter, shall be advised of available shelter in the City of Pensacola or Escambia County, in addition to any penalties of law.

SECTION 2. In any word, phrase, clause, paragraph, section or provision of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid or unconstitutional, such finding shall not affect the other provision or applications of the ordinance which can be given effect without the invalid or unconstitutional provisions or application, and to this end the provisions of this ordinance are declared severable.

SECTION 3. All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed to the extent of such conflict.

SECTION 4. This ordinance shall take effect on the fifth business day after adoption, unless otherwise provided pursuant to Section 4.03(d) of the City Charter of the City of Pensacola.

Activist Father Nathan Monk has started a petition to end the ordinance. Monk is asking people to email these elected officials.

mayorhayward@cityofpensacola.com

Write the council: jcannada-wynn@cityofpensacola.com, mpratt@cityofpensacola.com, pcwu@cityofpensacola.com, smyers@cityofpensacola.com, aterhaar@cityofpensacola.com, ljohnson@cityofpensacola.com, gwingate@cityofpensacola.com, bspencer@cityofpensacola.com, cbare@cityofpensacola.com

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