This Petition is for the reinstatement of Measure S law into the ballot for the next vote in Berkeley, California. We believe that this law should be passed and that since it was such a close margin for the failure of the measure in the voting on Tuesday the 6 of November 2012, we believe that the Measure S should be reinstated and given another chance for the people to vote for it.
Measure S is a sit/lie law that was proposed in Berkeley for the election. Measure S was a law that the Mayor of Berkeley, Tom Bates, was advocating since it would ban the loitering of the homeless that are laying in the public sidewalks, in front of and around the city's small business and parks from 7am to 10pm.
Opponents of this law argue that Measure S criminalizes homelessness. However, this is simply not true. Berkeley is renown as a liberal, compassionate city, and they have been very benevolent to the homeless. In fact, the city spends about $10,000 annually per homeless person to provide shelter and counseling services.
The truth is, this measures targets a criminal element that interferes with the public enjoyment of the downtown area. Churlish teenagers, belligerent drunks, and low level drug dealers routinely take over the sidewalks, accosting passers-by and causing up to a 30% drop in business for local merchants.
With this petition, we hope to bring more awareness about Measure S and to see it reinstated into the next voting ballot. If this measure passes it would be a leading step and inspire other cities to create and pass their own sit/lie law. This would bring a rise in business revenue and a more safe and attractive cities for tourists and visitors.
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