1-girl-scout.jpg
Thanks to Councilmember Burgess, Seattle's streets will be mercifully free of these pint-sized Samoa-peddlers.
Tim Burgess's move to outlaw "aggressive panhandling" may be an unconstitutional

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Tim Burgess Approves Crackdown on Aggressive, Adorable Girl Scouts

1-girl-scout.jpg
Thanks to Councilmember Burgess, Seattle's streets will be mercifully free of these pint-sized Samoa-peddlers.
Tim Burgess's move to outlaw "aggressive panhandling" may be an unconstitutional, attention-seeking bully tactic, but at least the Councilmember appears willing to apply the law equally to anyone asking for money on the streets. Even if they just want to sell you a box of thin mints.

That's the takeaway from an e-mail exchange between an unnamed constituent and Burgess aide Nate Van Duzer that was posted on the Tumblr blog The Fat-Tailed Sheep.

The anonymous resident is almost certainly being facetious when they say the "high-pitched solicitations" of a group of Girl Scouts near West Seattle Farmer's Market was a "nerve-racking experience." Duzer, however, being a good civil servant, plays the straight man, assuring the shaken resident that, should his boss's ordinance become law, those Peanut Butter Patty-pushers will be put in their place.

Full exchange after the jump.

From: Van Duzer, Nate

9:39 AM (1 hour ago)

Hi xxxx,

In answer to your basic question, yes, this ordinance would apply equally to everyone who solicits. If approved, there will be extensive education of the police and people on the street about the new ordinance and what behavior will and will not be allowed.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Sincerely,

Nate Van Duzer

Nate Van Duzer

Legislative Aide

Councilmember Tim Burgess

206-684-8806

nate.vanduzer@seattle.gov

Sign up to receive Tim's FREE e-newsletter by clicking on this link: http://www.mailermailer.com/x?oid=1006158t

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From: xxxxxxx

Sent: Monday, March 01, 2010 3:38 PM

To: Burgess, Tim

Subject: Panhandling ordinance

Councilmember Burgess:

I was strongly opposed to your panhandling proposal until my experience on the streets of downtown West Seattle yesterday. Now I totally understand where you're coming from.

Here's what happened: on the way to the West Seattle Farmer's Market, I encountered a band of Girl Scouts aggressively promoting cookie sales within spitting distance of a KeyBank ATM where I was withdrawing money. The situation was so extreme that I could actually hear their aggressive, repeated, high-pitched solicitations at the very moment I was entering my PIN. Then as my cash was dispensed and I nervously removed my receipt -- trying to stay calm despite this invasion of my constitutional right to not be confronted by my relative class status -- I saw two adult women. They were the ringleaders, I assume. They didn't seem to be doing anything but watching over the whole scene and talking discreetly to each other about god knows what. All in all, a nerve-racking experience.

So there they were, asking for money, repeatedly, despite my lack of interest in what was on offer, all happening well within 15 feet of an ATM. Would this be banned by the your ordinance? I certainly hope so, because there's a long history of applying laws like this inequitably, almost as an excuse to push poor people out of desirable areas instead of addressing the actual problem.

Thanks for any information you can offer.

 
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