City Council Agenda: Panhandling, Loitering, Human Rights Commission
Charlottesville City Council is considering ways to deal with bad behaviors caused by panhandling and loitering on the downtown mall.
Monday night council will review a report on the issue. A recent survey about the downtown mall says people lying around on the mall are reasons people avoid the area. The survey also reports mall visitors complained about bad behavior such as cursing.
Charlottesville Vice Mayor Kristin Szakos said, "One thing that I think people need to remember is that the downtown mall is a public street, it's not like an indoor mall, it is our main street and as such it's protected by rights that are very central to our country."
Szakos says one way to solve the problem would be putting more benches and seating on the mall where people can sit free, unlike outdoor restaurant seating.
Also on council's agenda is the possibility of forming a human rights commission in the city. A dialogue on race action team has proposed the idea to council. The commission would focus on conflicts involving race.