Proposed Panhandling Ordinance Would Boot 'Fill The Boot' Fundraiser

The days of being asked for money by someone on the side of the road may be numbered.

Tuesday, September 15th 2015, 5:55 pm

By: Karl Torp


The days of being asked for money by someone on the side of the road may be numbered.

An ordinance to ban panhandling in the medians in Oklahoma City was presented at city council meeting Tuesday.

The bill authored by Councilwoman Meg Salyer would make it illegal for anyone to stand in a median or the road and ask for money.

9/12/2015 Related Story: City Councilwoman To Present Proposal To Cut Down Panhandling

No exceptions are being made in the latest panhandling ordinance, and that includes firefighters and their “Fill the Boot” campaign.

For three days each year, firefighters can been seen going up to cars on the road to collect cash for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

The MDA fundraiser collects around $27 million nationwide.

In Oklahoma City, firefighters collect around $300,000.

“People in Oklahoma City have been so good to the firefighters and therefore us. It allows us to do good things here,” MDA central division chief executive Brad Barghols said.

Barghols said the “Fill the Boot” campaign has been the exception for panhandling bands enacted in other cities across the country.

“We don’t have to throw out the baby with the bath water,” Barghols said.

Salyer said no exceptions will be made with her proposal.

“If you allow anyone to have a permit to do something that we have said is a public safety issue, it’s a violation of free speech,” the councilwoman said.

The ordinance will be debated at the next council meeting in two weeks.

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