Sat, 12/16/2006 - 7:01pm — Poor Peoples Union
It's official. The Poor Peoples Union has voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with the referendum to over turn the pedestrian interference ordinance. The ordinance clearly targets poor and houseless people, puts unfair restrictions on struggling small businesses and violates all of our rights by privatizing public areas.
Here are some things that weren't brought up at the city council meetings but were written into the law:
- The ordinance would give police new powers to shut down ANY form of peaceful protest and give out newer more powerful tickets for simply standing in public space. A person can receive the same amount of jail time for 'pedestrian interference' as for trespassing. This section of the ordinance was worded to include demonstrations.
- According to the language of the ordinance, it appears that business owners will have to pay the city an additional fee to keep dumpsters behind their buildings and any dumpster in an ally way must be removed.
- Notifying business owners of the change in laws must be proactive, meaning the city must, before February 1st, go to every business in the downtown area effected by the ordinance and inform them. This is a logistical nightmare and will carry a heavy cost in city tax dollars.
The referendum is a process by which a group of people can over turn a law or ordinance by petition. The city then has the option to spend upwards of 10,000 dollars to put it on the ballot, or they can simply drop the issue and rethink their plan. This ordinance is ineffective, costly, partisan and downright hateful.
Yes there are issues with downtown. That fact is painfully clear, but this is not the way to solve them. This ordinance is a trap, a step towards gentrification and a green light to big developers who want to come into downtown and turn it into a strip mall for people from Lacey. Lacey is not a bad or evil place, but its also not Olympia. If we want to keep our independent businesses, if we want to have the right to demonstrate in our capitol city then we will over turn this ordinance and find a way to fix our problems without hate or prejudice.
This is a call out to all those who want to help. If this is to work it will have to be a group effort. please email:
We need ideas, advice and person power! The referendum is drafted, now we need to train, educate and organize.