This is the right call.
After a community outcry protesting what opponents call the criminalization of charity, Mayor Annise Parker announced this afternoon that she will not seek a vote Wednesday on her proposed regulation of the feeding of homeless people in Houston.
Parker’s original proposed regulations would require charities to register with the city, have a member take a food safety class, prepare food in city-approved kitchens and limit feedings to three public parks and on private property only with the owner’s written permission.
Spokeswoman Janice Evans said the mayor already has a revised ordinance ready to present to Council tomorrow and will ask Council to delay consideration of it until after she returns from a trade mission to Brazil at the end of the month.
“This is exactly how the process should work,” Parker said in a released statement.
See here for some background, and here for the Mayor’s statement. I think we can all agree that ensuring that public spaces are cleaned up and that food is handled safely are worthwhile goals. Let’s focus on those things, and on getting all of the people who will be affected by this involved and in agreement with any ordinance that gets proposed. Neil has more.