On Thursday, BART Board of Director Debora Allen proposed an ordinance that would prohibit solicitation for money in the paid areas of BART.
Allen announced the introduction of the item during Board Member Reports
“The directors request that the topic of a new BART ordinance prohibiting solicitation of money or panhandling from Bart riders at any place within the paid areas, be brought to a board meeting by the end of October for consideration by the board. Staff will work with directors to research applicable information related to the topic,” said Allen.
The request was supported by Directors Mark Foley and John McPartland.
Foley supported the item because he wanted to have open communication and a discussion.
“We should be discussing this very important issue as a board here in a board meeting where the public can comment and discuss,” explained Foley. “Not on social media, not in the press, not on digital media. The discussion should happen here where the decision makers can have an honest and open conversation about how to move forward. That is why I supported this motion.”
The item being introduced was expected as Allen took to social media prior to the announcement and on August 18 on Twitter confirmed she would introduce a proposal saying BART should address panhandling.
As far back as August 3, in response to BART removing anti-panhandling signs, she asked via Twitter: Why do @SFBART riders endure constant panhandling on trains? Because some Board Directors oppose prohibiting it. A Board ordinance is all that’s needed and is achievable with only 5 director votes. Who’s in? #FixOurBART.
The ACLU has already submitted a letter claiming its unconstitutional and banning free speech.