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Ordinance Aims to Restrict Free Speech Rights in Sacramento?




Sacramento Supervisor Susan Peters issued the following in her electronic newsletter with information on an ordinance which targets Panhandling (a protected form of free speech).  In the newsletter, this protected form of free speech is labeled as a problem and safety concern.  Should this First Amendment Right have restrictions? It's a battle that is being waged across the country.


Panhandling is a problem and poses a safety concern especially when done on street medians with traffic, freeway ramps, etc. - and for many of us aggressive panhandling near ATMs, banks, and gasoline stations can be intimidating and threating especially when we are confined in our car when approached.

In recognition of that, the Board of Supervisors last month adopted an ordinance to address aggressive panhandling in the unincorporated area similar to laws that exist in the cities of Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova and Galt.

The first two violations under the ordinance will be treated as infractions, requiring an appearance in traffic court. A third infraction within six months of the last one will be treated as a misdemeanor, potentially subjecting someone to under a year in jail if prosecuted (prosecution is at the discretion of the Sacramento County District Attorney).

Captain Matt Morgan who is in charge of the Sheriff's North Division that serves the unincorporated communities of Arden Arcade, Carmichael, Fair Oaks, and North Highlands says deputies will spend the first 60 days once the ordinance is in effect (June 12) informing panhandlers about the new law including handing out information listing nearby charities where they can seek assistance.

The ordinance expressly prohibits solicitations at ATMs, near an entrance or exit of any financial institution, gasoline stations, toward persons operating or occupying a motor vehicle within 200 feet of an intersection or located within 35 feet of a driveway of a shopping center, retail or business establishment as well as on any public transportation vehicle or within 50 feet of any designated transit stop.

While panhandling is viewed as a protected form of free speech, the ordinance has been crafted to comply with the First Amendment.





Placer County News Headlines

Chicago the TRIBUTE to play Opera House Saloon in Roseville(ROSEVILLE, CA) - Chicago the TRIBUTE, a 9-piece tribute to the band with the horns and hits will be playing the Opera House Saloon Roseville on Thursday, March 30

Roseville Criminal Activity Heats UpRoseville, CA- As the weather heats up, so does Roseville criminal activity. The Roseville police log digest update for the ten-day period covering March 10-20, 2017.

Free STD and STI Testing and Treatment in Roseville(Roseville, CA) - Sierra Pregnancy & Health (SPH) announced they have begun offering free testing and treatment for STD/STIs, including gonorrhea and chlamydia

Placer County Government Center ProposalAUBURN, Calif. -- After considerable analysis, stakeholder engagement, design and planning, the Placer County Board of Supervisors were presented a plan for a re-envisioned Placer County Government

Ghost in the Shell coming to IMAXGhost in the Shell: An IMAX 3D Experience opens at the Esquire IMAX Theatre on March 30 at 7:00 p.m

Auburn Art Walk begins April 7The Auburn Art Walk will take place on the first Friday of April, June, August and October 2017, from 6 pm to 9 pm

Achieve Tahoe to Host Ability Challenge Fundraiser at Squaw ValleyAlpine Meadows, CA - Achieve Tahoe, a leading provider of winter and summer adaptive sports instruction at all ability levels for adults and children with disabilities

Guys and Dolls at William Jessup University in AprilROCKLIN, CA. - William Jessup University's Creative Arts department presents Guys and Dolls for six weekend performances, starting April 7-8-9.

Prenatal Health Services to begin at Auburn Health CenterAUBURN, CA - Chapa-De Indian Health is proud to announce that its Auburn Health Center will begin providing prenatal health services to patients starting this week.

Roseville Skatetown to Host Curling BonspielRoseville, CA -Brand New Barrel Bonspiel Brings 16 California Curling Teams to Roseville on March 24-26.

Placer Valley Tourism to operate Placer County FairgroundsAUBURN, Calif. -- The Placer County Board of Supervisors today approved Placer Valley Tourism, a private nonprofit organization, as the new operator of the Placer County Fairgrounds

Roseville Gas Price Competition StiffensRoseville, CA - Competition has stiffened as Roseville gas prices were mostly flat during this past week.


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