Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Sidewalk ordinance still under fire, day laborer site proposed as alternative

The Nashville City Paper reports in this article that a proposed ordinance to restrict activities on sidewalks is still opposed by community advocates as misguided and ineffective. Because the sidewalk ordinance is meant to regulate day laborers, many of whom are Hispanic, advocates are exploring the creation of a separate day laborer facility as an alternative.

"Stephen Fotopulos, policy coordinator with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, said the proposed ordinance is too broad and would largely duplicate existing law that already prohibits solicitation from public streets."

"The only new part is that the prohibition would extend from the public right-of-way to sidewalks and curbs and consequently prevent school groups and other organizations from holding fundraisers such as car washes along a road."

"In essence, the ordinance would not affect day laborers in the Murfreesboro Road/Thompson Lane area, Fotopulos said."

"The coalition is also actively researching and identifying the needs to establish a worker center where day laborers could gather to find employment."

"Worker centers have already proven effective in other cities across the nation, Lubell said."

See this July 18, 2005 story for more information about day laborer centers.

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