Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tampa group collecting signatures to support referendum against panhandling

A citizen group in Tampa, Florida is collecting signatures to support a referendum against aggressive panhandling. St. Petersburg banned the behavior in June, 2010, so offenders have moved to Tampa. The Tampa City Council has refused citizen requests to put a referendum banning panhandling on the March, 2011 ballot. Signatures must be received by the Tampa City Council
  • by December 27th:
"http://www.choosewestshore.com/files/panhandling_petition_form.pdf People are trying to get an initiative on the ballot for the March election concerning panhandling. If you are a resident of the City of Tampa, you may print out this petition and mail it in by Dec 27, 2010. The pdf document is two pages and they have to be printed on the front and back of a single page. Signing the petition does not constitute a vote for the measure, only a request to put it on the ballot. Here is the letter I got from the Westshore Alliance about this issue:
  • A citizen initiative is underway to put the issue of panhandling and soliciting in Tampa city limits to the voters in the March election. In order to be included on the ballot, 18,000 signed petitions must be delivered to the Supervisor of Elections by December 27, 2010. Signing and delivering a petition is not a vote for or against a ban of panhandling or solicitation in Tampa; it is simplya petition initiative to place the measure on ballot so Tampa voters can decide the issue.

Here is a link to the petition. Following are instructions for completing and submitting the petition.

  • Only City of Tampa registered voters can sign and submit a petition.

  • The petition is two pages long but it must be printed on a single sheet of paper front and back.

  • Fill out name, address, zip code, voter registration number or date of birth; sign and date the back and have a witness sign.

  • Completed forms can be dropped off or mailed to the Westshore Alliance, 3109 W. Dr. MLK Blvd., Suite 140, Tampa, FL 33607 by the close of business on December 26.

  • Only original forms will be counted; e-mail or fax copies cannot be used.

If you intend to distribute copies of the petition to employees of your company, we suggest that your employees complete the petition on forms that you provide and return them to you in advance of the Dec. 26th date.

The Alliance has heard from many member companies and individuals that something must be done to curb the proliferation of solicitors and panhandlers on traffic medians and road rights of way. If you and others in your organization are in agreement, this is your opportunity to take a step to address this issue.

Ron Rotella

Executive Director

Westshore Alliance


  • 12/17/10, Tampa City Council members cited high unemployment and costs of enforcing a ban.


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