Time to “out” the eight members of the City of Madison Common Council who voted Tuesday (02-07-17) in favor of panhandling on the median strips of our busy city streets.
These eight Madison alders got suckered by the scam artists who claim to be homeless, destitute, and desperate but are none of the above.
These eight elected city officials are willing to put the citizenry at danger because their faith-based belief in the Cult of Victimology overrides empirical evidence that the median strip beggars are playing them for fools.
The Policy Werkes is doing what we wish the mainstream news media would do, namely: Print the Roll Call! The Ignorant Eight are:
Amanda Hall, Rebecca Kemble, Larry Palm, Matt Phair, Marsha Rummel, Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, Maurice Cheeks, and Mark Clear.
They voted No even though the ordinance requires an educational campaign and still more social services/ job outreach. Of course, the median strip scammers — they’re all in the prime of life and apparently healthy — are begging for dollars in front big box retailers begging for workers. Even for Madison these eight are especially gullible. They were in the 12 to 8 minority even on the ultra liberal-progressive-socialist Madison Common Council.
Earn $80,000 tax-free just by begging!
The Ignorant Eight voted No despite convincing evidence presented by Mayor Soglin for a second straight meeting. Soglin referenced the photo of the 3-year-old child used as bait by a particularly unscrupulous scammer. Still, the eight chose to believe fairy tales. Soglin stepped down from the chair to testify:
“The vast, vast majority are not homeless [and] it’s almost impossible to find a homeless veteran. The accidents, the deaths [from median strip beggars nationwide] is well documented. … The problem is a serious one. Studies have shown they can make between $40,000 and $80,000 a year if they pick a good street corner. And no one is filing taxes.”
The mayor gets it. So do the majority of the Common Council, which voted — finally! at almost midnight by a vote of 12 to 8 — to amend Section 12.325 of city ordinances. It prohibits:
• Standing on the median strip of arterial streets “longer than it takes to cross the highway,”
• Approaching a vehicle that is in operation, and
• Vehicle operators from stopping for anyone violating the above-two prohibitions.
In effect, the measure will stop the begging, loitering, bothering, and endangering — whether scammers or legitimate charities — on busy intersections like Odana and Whitney Way, East Wash and Blair, East Wash and Stoughton Road, Gammon and Watts Road, Park and Fish Hatchery, University and Midvale, and more.
But what a tussle. This amendment went through four iterations dragged out over six months!
By this sign shall ye be fooled
As we discussed a month ago, Your Humble Squire fully intended to stand mute at the Council witness stand Tuesday as he hoisted 1-foot by 2’ cardboard signs in proximation of the median strip scam artists. (Or Bob Dylan in that Subterranean Homesick Blues video.) The first sign paraphrased Mayor Soglin from the January 3 go-around on this pressing issue: “Because I hold this sign does not mean I am homeless.”
But his researchers at the Werkes ascertained that the measure was Agenda Item #74 in a very lengthy agenda, and that it followed the whole Sanctuary Room 417 cry-athon. His advisers counseled that the Squire had best follow the proceedings via City Cable with a glass of wine in hand. Which he did.
Your Squire may be humble but he is not ignorant.