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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Today: Emergency Call In Hour On Sit-Lie Vote

Posted by Matt Davis on Wed, May 5, 2010 at 8:11 AM

Courtesy of the Facebook group The Sit/Lie Ordinance is Unconstitutional. Really. Stop Trying To Fix It:

The city council has considered and will vote on an 'emergency' new sidewalk management ordinance on Thursday. It is vital that Portland residents call the city council NOW and let the council know that this law is unnecessary, unappreciated, unconstitutional and un-Portland. Join us on Tuesday and CALL CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS between noon and 2:00 PM on Wednesday.

Some reasons you might suggest that they vote no on the sidewalk ordinance renewal:

The ordinance is:

1) Unnecessary: There is no emergency. The sidewalks are doing just find in the absence of the Sit/Lie ordinance. Existing criminal laws, A-board rules and property rights allow for a dynamic and fair use of sidewalks downtown. You don't need this new complex law

2) Unappreciated: No one is pushing for this law except for the city's largest lobbyist, the Portland Business Alliance. Despite the whitewash parts of the ordinance addressing sidewalk cafes and the disingenuous use of the American With Disabilities Act as a justification, we all know the true purpose of this ordinance is to offer police an opportunity to stop, harass and roust 'undesirables' from our city streets and empower law enforcement to make needless contacts with people the business alliance deems undesirable.

3) Unconstitutional: Like the Drug Free Zones and Sit/Lie ordinances before it, this new ordinance will face years of costly litigation and be picked apart piece by piece by judges who will recognize that this law will be enforced unfairly, threatens personal liberty and does not meet the requirements of the Oregon and US constitutions.

4) Un-Portland: Our city is not about unfairly targeting one group. Our city is not about fake due process serving one interest group. Our city is not about prejudice and anger.Our city is about the free flow of ideas and dissent and a mix of people interacting. This law shuts down the random public meetings in a public space that enrich our city.

Take ten minutes from noon to 2:00 on Wednesday and call your city commissioners. With over 500 people in this group if we all call hopefully we can let the city commissioners know all 500 reasons that they should not renew the Sit/lie ordinance. Be sure to POLITELY ENCOURAGE (or demand) that the council members let the Sit/Lie ordinance die.

Call and ask to speak to the commissioner at the following numbers:

Mayor Sam Adams - (503) 823-4120
Commissioner Randy Leonard - (503) 823-4682
Commissioner Dan Saltzman - (503) 823-4151
Commissioner Nick Fish - (503) 823-3589
Commissioner Amanda Fritz - (503) 823-3008

Call each of them and let them know your name, phone number and mailing address and ask for a response from the commissioner. Be firm but polite. If a receptionist has to take a message, inquire when the commissioner can get back to you. Don't be afraid to take up some of your government's time.

Let us know how your call went in the comments. Were you politely received? Did you feel listened to? What was the justification you were given?

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