"I'll tell you, in my life I've never once have seen a Hispanic panhandler, because in our community, it would be viewed as shameful to be out on the street begging. Those are all conservative values - faith, family, hard work, responsibility."
- Ted Cruz
The Covington City Council this week approved an ordinance that prohibits people from soliciting money in public places in the city.
However, the council was split with three councilmen voting for the ordinance,, and the three councilwomen voting against. Mayor Ronnie Johnston broke the tie in favor.
Councilwoman Hawnethia Williams said she voted no because she was concerned about the people who are truly in need.
‘I think that we need to consider that there are those who are desperate," she said. "Just because we are not in that position, I don't think we should judge those who find themselves in that position and just turn our backs on them".
We understand Ms. Williams' concerns for people who are suffering more than ever in these tough economic times.
However, for those begging publicly for money just to survive, there are churches, food banks and nonprofits that are more than willing to assist them. These groups are struggling too, but they're mission is to help the needy. Hopefully, officers will be able to kindly direct panhandlers to these organizations.
The true benefit of this ordinance comes in stopping the unscrupulous people who beg and harass passersby and try to shame them into giving.
We have a compassionate community that has proved itself to be so many times over, and we encourage those in need to seek help in the proper places.