Denver city council welcomes excrement, panhandling
The city council of Denver, Colorado has decided it no longer wishes to punish the homeless or immigrants from making the city an unlivable, filthy mess:
Denver City Council voted unanimously...to lessen the punishment for people convicted of certain low-level crimes like lying in a public right-of-way, urinating [or defecating] in public and panhandling.
City leaders and immigrant rights advocates argued the changes will protect Denver’s immigrant community from facing unintended consequences.
“Many times it becomes a deportable offense if you’ve been convicted of even a minor ordinance violation that’s punishable by a year in jail,” Mark Silverstein said, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado.
Putting aside the significant health hazards of turning a city sidewalk into an open sewer, why did city government agree to go along with such a proposal? Denver's mayor had this to say:
This ordinance takes two critical steps. One, it helps to keep families together by ensuring low level offenses, like park curfew, are not a deportation tool. With this ordinance, we will ensure punishment fits the severity of the offense -- not just for our immigrant communities but for all our people including those experiencing homelessness. Two, for the first time in Denver’s history, the city will be able to act swiftly to prosecute those who commit hate crimes. Together, we are sending a clear message that we will not sacrifice our values or bend to a broken immigration system.Over the past four months, the White House has issued a series of executive orders that have exacerbated our broken immigration system and have had a real impact on our community. I have heard from many who are rightfully concerned. Denver is committed to taking actions that will protect our people’s rights and keep our city safe, welcoming and open.
This is not about shielding violent people and I will not play political games with the safety of our community. This is about protecting the rights and livelihoods of our people and I will make every effort to take well-thought actions to protect all our people and their families – that will always include immigrants and refugees in Denver, Colorado.”
In other words, it's about virtue signalling. We'll see if the mayor and his fellow city leaders feel the same way when the summer heat is unleashed on the city's now excrement-friendly streets.