Pan­han­dling

The Covington News - - Opinion -

“I’ll tell you, in my life I’ve never once have seen a His­panic pan­han­dler, be­cause in our community, it would be viewed as shame­ful to be out on the street beg­ging. Those are all con­ser­va­tive val­ues - faith, fam­ily, hard work, re­spon­si­bil­ity.”

- Ted Cruz

The Cov­ing­ton City Coun­cil this week ap­proved an or­di­nance that pro­hibits peo­ple from so­lic­it­ing money in pub­lic places in the city.

How­ever, the coun­cil was split with three coun­cil­men vot­ing for the or­di­nance,, and the three coun­cil­women vot­ing against. Mayor Ron­nie John­ston broke the tie in fa­vor.

Coun­cil­woman Hawnethia Wil­liams said she voted no be­cause she was con­cerned about the peo­ple who are truly in need.

‘I think that we need to con­sider that there are those who are des­per­ate,” she said. “Just be­cause we are not in that po­si­tion, I don’t think we should judge those who find them­selves in that po­si­tion and just turn our backs on them”.

We un­der­stand Ms. Wil­liams’ con­cerns for peo­ple who are suf­fer­ing more than ever in these tough eco­nomic times.

How­ever, for those beg­ging pub­licly for money just to sur­vive, there are churches, food banks and non­prof­its that are more than will­ing to as­sist them. These groups are strug­gling too, but they’re mis­sion is to help the needy. Hope­fully, of­fi­cers will be able to kindly di­rect pan­han­dlers to these or­ga­ni­za­tions.

The true ben­e­fit of this or­di­nance comes in stop­ping the un­scrupu­lous peo­ple who beg and ha­rass passersby and try to shame them into giv­ing.

We have a com­pas­sion­ate community that has proved it­self to be so many times over, and we en­cour­age those in need to seek help in the proper places.

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