Freezing Temperatures: Requesting Pensacola City Council Repeal the “Blanket Ban”

January 23, 2014 – Nathan Monk, Alistair McKenzie, Mike Kimberl, and Jeremy Bosso spoke to Pensacola City Council asking them to review and repeal sections of the controversial “camping” ordinance passed this last summer, particularly those sections that make it a “crime” to keep warm with a blanket-posing a tremendous health and safety risk to the homeless. Councilwoman Sherri Myers said she will work to get the issue back on the agenda for next week’s meeting. Note that temperatures are supposed to drop down to the 20s tonight. If you’re interested, I’m at about the 13:50 mark in this video, saying:

Jeremy Bosso speaking to Pensacola City Council

Jeremy Bosso speaks to Pensacola City Council

“Good evening, City Council. I just wanted to bring to your attention, WEAR ABC News posted a sort of Public Service Announcement, if you will, just reminding people with this cute little meme on their Facebook page. It’s a cute little dog, and it says “If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them. Please bring your pets inside. Please share to get out this message.” I would just like to say that I fully agree with this, that if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pets. But I would also like to ask that the City Council extend that same courtesy to our fellow human beings. The temperatures have reached the teens recently. It’s expected to be a hard freeze tonight. And because of that, I’d like to ask the Council to respectfully reconsider the “camping” ordinance that I believe several other people have mentioned, that does prohibit sleeping with a blanket, a sleeping bag. I think we should extend that courtesy to our fellow humans. I mean, we do it for the animals, and I think we should respect life at all stages.”

The “camping” ordinance was passed by the City Council during the summer of 2013, along with a series of related ordinances relating to the homeless. The following Council members supported the controversial homeless ordinance(s): P.C. Wu, Andy Terhaar, Larry B. Johnson, Brian Spencer, Jewel Cannada-Wynn, Megan B. Pratt. These council members opposed the ordinance(s): Sherri F. Myers, Charles Bare, Gerald Wingate.
Feb. 13, 2014 City Council Repeals Blanket Ban

Feb. 10, 2014-Update to Freezing Temperatures: Requesting Pensacola City Council Repeal the “Blanket Ban”

Related:

Continued…

The “camping” ordinance states:

Ordinance 17-13 AN ORDINANCE CREATING SECTION 8-1-22 OF THE CODE OF THE CITY OF PENSACOLA, FLORIDA; PROHIBITING CAMPING AS DEFINED ON ALL PUBLIC PROPERTY OF THE CITY PROVIDING EXCEPTIONS; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; REPEALING CLAUSE; PROVIDING EFFECTIVE DATE.

WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Pensacola, Florida hereby finds that in order to provide for, secure and promote the aesthetics, sanitation, public health, and safety of its citizens, it is necessary and in the public interest to adopt an Ordinance prohibiting in part and regulating the conduct of camping on public property, as defined, within the city limits.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY OF PENSACOLA, FLORIDA:

SECTION  1. Section 8-1-22 of the Code of the City of Pensacola, Florida is hereby created to read as follows:

Sec. 8-1-22 Camping prohibited; exceptions

(1)    For purposes of this section “camping” is defined as:

(a)    Cooking over an open flame or fire out-of-doors; or

(b)   Bathing in public for purposes of personal hygiene; or

(c)    Sleeping out-of-doors under one of the following circumstances:

(i)                  Adjacent to or inside a tent or sleeping bag, or

(ii)                Atop and/or covered by materials such as a bedroll, cardboard, newspapers, or

(iii)               Inside some form of temporary shelter

(2)    Camping is prohibited on all public property, except as may be specifically authorized by the appropriate governmental authority.

(3)    Camping is prohibited on all property in the City used for residential purposes; provided, however that camping is permitted on such property with permission and consent of the property owner.

(4)    An individual in violation of this ordinance, who has no private shelter, shall be advised of available shelter in the City of Pensacola or Escambia County, in addition to any penalties of law.

SECTION 2. In any word, phrase, clause, paragraph, section or provision of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid or unconstitutional, such finding shall not affect the other provision or applications of the ordinance which can be given effect without the invalid or unconstitutional provisions or application, and to this end the provisions of this ordinance are declared severable.

SECTION 3. All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed to the extent of such conflict.

SECTION 4. This ordinance shall take effect on the fifth business day after adoption, unless otherwise provided pursuant to Section 4.03(d) of the City Charter of the City of Pensacola.

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