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Housing & Homelessness

Eugene City Council Opposes Panhandling Ordinance

City of Eugene

An ordinance that would have fined motorists for giving or accepting items from pedestrians on the roadside was rejected by the Eugene City Council. 

Supporters of the proposal said it was a matter of public safety and a way to deal with the city’s homeless population. Councilor Betty Taylor says she was disappointed and surprised that only one of her colleagues voted for the law.

TAYLOR: “Some people said to me, well nobody’s been hurt. Well I said we don’t wait to make a school zone safe until a child is killed or injured. You look ahead. If something appears to be unsafe you try to prevent it.”

Taylor says there are safer ways to help those in need without endangering others. Those who voted against the proposal cited concerns over constitutional legality and potentially over burdening police officers. Despite a 2 - 6 vote, all council members agreed to remedy the city’s increasing homeless population.