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Steinberg Backtracks On Statements Hansen Was Behind Protesting Ordinance

  

Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen is denying he was behind a proposal that would have made illegal the type of public protests that have occurred outside his home and that would also prohibit aggressive panhandling. 

"There is misinformation," Hansen said at Tuesday night's council meeting. "This is not my set of ordinances. This is a set of ordinances which was brought forward by our police department and our city manager's staff, in consultation with the city attorney's office, because, on a daily basis, we get complaints from employees, visitors, residents about some of the things that are covered here."

His statement was in part response to Mayor Darrell Steinberg's comments earlier in the day during a news conference.  

"I commend council member Hansen for having the courage to put forward a number of proposals, right? He deserves credit for that," Steinberg said during the Tuesday afternoon press conference. "There's a fine line here. I don't think people should be picketing elected officials homes. I don't think it's constructive. I think it can be scary and so, you know, I sympathize with what he went through." 

Protestors with bullhorns have targeted Hansen's home twice.

Steinberg also spoke about the conversation the two had about the mayor's request to remove the proposed protesting changes from the legislative packet.

"I talked to councilmember Hansen about it and we had a very good conversation about the whole package," Steinberg said during the same press conference. "Again, I commended him because it takes guts to put out a whole package and let people, you know, swing away at it."

But at Tuesday night's council meeting, Steinberg discussed the proposed changes to the panhandling ordinance and retreated from the assertion that the proposals were Hansen's. 

"Being compassionate about the homeless doesn't mean that we should tolerate illegal behavior or behavior that is threatening to businesses and residents," Steinberg said during Tuesday night's meeting. "And so the staff, not council member Hansen, 'cause I need to be clear on that, brings forward a set of policy proposals."

Hansen thanked the mayor for the clarification.

The Sacramento City Manager's Office says the protests at Hansen's home were two of many over the last 18 months in the city that caused noise disturbances in residential neighborhoods. The city also says an ordinance change banning bullhorns would not have applied to Hansen's neighborhood, though a ban on picketing in front of a residence would have.

Proposed changes to rules regarding picketing and the use of bullhorns were removed from consideration by a unanimous vote.

Other items that remain in the packet of proposed changes: a code of conduct at public parks, a requirement that building owners cover alcoves, restrictions on panhandling near businesses and a decrease in the number of hours that City Hall Plaza could be used by the public.

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