By Associated Press - Thursday, April 16, 2015

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - The Everett City Council has rejected an ordinance that would have made panhandling a criminal offense.

The Daily Herald newspaper reports ( ) that the late-night vote Wednesday followed a warning from the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington that the city could face a lawsuit if it passed. The organization said it has successfully challenged laws even less restrictive than the one Everett was considering.

The proposal was one of three advanced by Mayor Ray Stephanson concerning Everett’s homeless community. A second ordinance, to establish an alcohol impact area and prohibit the sale of certain beverages in much of downtown, passed by a 4-2 vote.

A third ordinance to ban sitting or lying on sidewalks near the Everett Gospel Mission and Everett Station was withdrawn.

Residents and activists packed the council chambers until almost 11 p.m. to speak.

Councilman Paul Roberts said the proposal would not address the broader issues surrounding homelessness.


Information from: The Daily Herald,

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