New Bedford City Council Considers Steps Against ‘Aggressive Panhandling’
The New Bedford City Council is taking a look at how to address panhandling in the city. Councillors Steven Martins and Joseph Lopes have filed a motion asking the Council's Committee on Ordinances to examine an ordinance that was recently passed in Worcester.
Lopes tells WBSM News he'd like to see the City get ahead of aggressive panhandling. "Worcester was able to get an ordinance passed as it relates to more of the aggressive style of panhandling where the person doesn't say no, they're following you around. We're looking at how we can make sure that we don't get in a situation where we're dealing with the same issue Worcester was," said Lopes.
Lopes says panhandling is protected under the First Amendment, but aggressive panhandling is not.
The ACLU challenged the Worcester ordinance in 2014.
The motion will be taken up at Thursday night's meeting at City Hall.