Panhandling in the public right-of-way is now a significant problem across the City of Milwaukee, and Alderman Bob Donovan will address that topic and concerns about the decline in public safety across the city during a news conference at 1:30 p.m. today (Thursday, March 26) at the northeast corner of S. 35th St. and W. National Ave.
Ald. Donovan, who will be joined by concerned residents and business owners at today’s news conference, said he is introducing a proposed city ordinance that would ban panhandling in the public right-of-way along city streets and at intersections.
"We have individuals holding signs and panhandling daily at freeway off-ramps, major intersections and other locations across the city – often darting in and out of traffic – and it’s time that we put a stop to it before someone gets hurt," said Ald. Donovan, a member of the Common Council’s Public Safety Committee.
"The urge to help others is understandable, and the need is obviously there as we’re the second poorest larger city in the U.S., but when folks are handing dollar bills over to panhandlers, the sad reality is they are also feeding the drug habits of many of these individuals, and it’s got to stop," he said.
"If this type of panhandling behavior is not acceptable in Greenfield, or Oak Creek, or Wauwatosa or Shorewood, then it shouldn’t have to be acceptable to the good people of Milwaukee, either," he said.
Ald. Donovan said he also plans to address his concerns about "a diminished quality of life and an increase in general disorder in areas across Milwaukee."