The Aberdeen City Council this week adopted new regulations on city sidewalks and panhandling. Protesters are scheduling a sit-in this morning that would challenge the new rules.
Hoquiam business owner Steven Puvogel said during the public comment period of the council meeting Wednesday night, “I hope that you will consider the dignity of the citizens that we are talking about here, and vote no on 18-06.” He wrote in a letter to the council that the city should consider removing the sign at our entrance quoting a Nirvana track which reads “Come as you are.”
Under one of the new ordinances sitting or lying down will not be allowed on sidewalks from 6 am to 11 pm daily. Sitting includes sitting on a blanket, chair, stool, or “other object.” Many spoke out against the “sitting” ordinance, feeling that it targets a specific group of people and behaviors like those that sit and rest on sidewalks during the day.
Under another new ordinance, it is now illegal to ask for money anywhere in Aberdeen after sunset or before sunrise. And you have some safe spaces where no one can ask you for money in Aberdeen.
It is now illegal to ask in front of businesses without permission, at gas stations, car washes, or within 20 feet of an ATM. It is also illegal to solicit on Grays Harbor Transit buses, at the bus station downtown, or at bus stops throughout the city.