Mayor Parker has decided to take on a pretty messed-up ordinance that makes it a crime to forage through trash bins.
The mayor said she was surprised to hear the city had an ordinance forbidding people from digging through trash cans.
“And I had to say, really?” Parker said. “There’s an ordinance about that? Give me a break.”
So her administration placed on the city council agenda a proposal to simply repeal the ordinance, which would have legalized digging through trash receptacles throughout the city.
However, over the weekend, the mayor’s staff said she decided the ordinance should continue to outlaw rummaging through recycling bins. After all, the city makes money off recyclables.
Then on Monday morning, after KHOU 11 News asked whether the proposal would basically legalize digging through trash placed outside people’s homes, Parker said she would consider that exception, too.
Within a short time, the mayor’s staff said she merely wanted to legalize digging through public trash receptacles on public property.
I understand the change from people’s homes, since those are private properties. But perhaps HPD’s Chief could make a suggestion to those on patrol to take it easy on those types of complaints. Perhaps do a nicer thing and utilize the homeless outreach team. Because, as the Mayor recently spoke about HPD’s HOT team:
“Why do we need police officers doing this? Because a lot of times police officers are the first ones called,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “There’s an angry property owner downtown, who says, ‘Somebody is sleeping on my front steps. Do something!’ or ‘Someone is urinating on my building. Do something!’ These people don’t belong in jail, they need assistance.”
The proposal is scheduled for a city council vote on Wednesday, but a spokesperson for the mayor indicates it may be either amended or delayed.
Let’s keep an eye on who would tag this.
So Her Honor supports the criminalization of sharing food with the needy… but wants to legalize Dumpster diving. I guess that counts as incremental progress. Her definition of empathy still seems a little strained.
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