Kudos to the Spokane City Council for the new sit-lie law.
Unfortunately, Shawn Vestal in his Dec. 18 column did not agree. He tries to twist this into some sort of class warfare. His take is that the citizens of Spokane cannot bear to look at the unwashed, unsavory and less fortunate. We seem to want to simply sweep them away into dark corners.
He fails to mention how generous this community is. He fails to understand that commerce is what drives the very funds that help the most needy. Worst of all, he fails to acknowledge that the majority of this law is for the bullies who find pleasure making people as uncomfortable as possible. These are not people meekly seeking shelter, they are there for the enjoyment of each other’s company and the mutual goal of acting out and intimidation.
While this law may indeed sweep in some of Vestal’s concerns, it is not “criminalizing homelessness.” Take a trip to Seattle sometime and walk from the downtown shopping area to Pike’s Place Market. Seattle did not have the courage or common sense to do what Spokane did, and they have regretted it ever since.