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Sepe Blasts Fung’s Ordinance on Prohibiting Panhandling in Intersections

Thursday, October 06, 2016


Mike Sepe

Democratic candidate for Mayor of Cranston Mike Sepe is criticizing Mayor Allan Fung's proposed anti-panhandling ordinance -- saying he is opposed to the measure. 

"The solution to ending homelessness must focus on providing good jobs and housing. I'm disappointed that Mayor Fung has chosen the path of criminalization rather than compassion," says Mr. Sepe of his opponent in this November's election. 

On Wednesday, GoLocal reported that Fung is moving forward with the ordinance that is modeled on legislation adopted in communities in Missouri and South Carolina -- and proposed by former Mayor Joseph Paolino in Providence -- that prohibits both panhandling and any exchange of money between vehicles and pedestrians standing in roadways. 

Fung had said:

“As Mayor, my top priority is ensuring public safety. have proposed a new ordinance to protect the safety of both motorists and pedestrians. The new ordinance, which is supported by a bipartisan majority of the City Council, is designed to prevent a tragedy from occurring and follows an approach that has been upheld by the courts in another state."

Sepe on the Record

"Mayor Fung states that the purpose of the ordinance is to 'prevent a tragedy from ocurring'. Yet, as I see it, a tragedy has already occurred when a person is reduced to begging for money in order to survive. We need to help that person."

A release from Sepe's camp stated that earlier this year, the city of Albuquerque, NM received national attention for its program "There's a Better Way". A part of this program, the city hires panhandlers for day jobs centered on public works -- Sepe said he would support implementing a similar program  in Cranston.

"This is where the solution starts. It's better to hire people and give them the dignity of an honest day's work," he explains. "In fact, most people would rather work than stand on a corner with a sign, but, if no opportunity for work exists, people do what they need to in order to survive."


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