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Another Way                             
Individual  Advocacy   
Have a Great One!
A Homeless Man's 

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*Unemployment        *Panhandling    
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In 1996, Mayor Guilliani signed into law an ordinance than banned aggressive panhandling. "Aggressive" panhandling, punishable by up to 16 days in jail and a $100 fine, includes blocking a pedestrian or car, using threatening gestures, touching or causing alarm or unreasonable inconvenience. (Bacon, John. "Aggressive beggars now a no-no in New York City," USA Today, September 27, 1996).
The first amendment gives individuals the right to food, shelter, and clothing and the right to ask for help and a person conveys this when they hold out their hand for a donation.. (Cohen, Patricia. "Sidewalk Beggars Win Court Approval for Panhandling," Newsday, July 30, 1993).
The "rules of conduct" at Sony Plaza, a public arcade off Madison Avenue, now seeks to ban visitors carrying "excessive packages." (The Economist, "New York’s Homeless: On the Edge," July 6, 1996).
"In interviews with more than two dozen New Yorkers who say they give money to panhandlers, a recurring theme is trust. Some, worrying about being robbed, scan their surroundings before pulling out their wallets. Others say they want to be sure that the person really needs the money, so they give to people whose clothes look tattered or look honest. ("Bernstein, Emily.  "Quarter, Quarter, Dollar? Sidewalk Charity Lives," New York Times, July 27, 1993).
Do the poor have a right to beg? Yes, according to federal district court judge in New York Circuit of Appeals who ruled in 1993 that New York City could not ban begging on the street because panhandling was a form of free speech, protected by the first amendment," (Ybarra, Michael, "Don’t Ask, Don’t Beg, Don’t Sit," New York Times, May 1996).