Rather than making it an issue of speech, these panhandlers should be treated as businessmen, and the challenge should be made around permits. Routine panhandlers that like to set up shop on street corners should be treated like hot dog vendors. They should have to get a business license and receive a permit from the city to operate their businesses downtown. Or they should be required to file for non-profit status, so at least the people who donate to them could write off the donations. If they can't afford to pay for the license or figure out the paperwork and so are booted off the corner, the law hasn't curtailed their freedom of speech any more than it does when an ice cream truck is shut down for not being properly permitted. Meanwhile, Greenpeace, the theater company, and PPJPC, all of which have messages to share that theoretically benefit the public good, would be able to continue their activities legally.
I have sympathy for people who are in dire need, but the public shouldn't be paying for panhandlers' drug habits (See this article from the Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/HeroinInDenver/c…). And after living in Colorado Springs as well as Denver and being solicited on a daily basis in both cities, I find even the passive pahandlers to be a nuisance. Educate the public to stop feeding the demand, put more donation meters out so people can donate directly to shelters and other services that help the homeless instead, and create laws that don't deny people their constitutional rights, but discourage them from behaving in a way that is both detrimental to their own welfare as well as the health of urban centers.
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