Mayor Sullivan Vetoes Sidewalk Ban Repeal

Mayor Dan Sullivan exercised his veto power Thursday (9/27) to undo the Assembly's vote to repeal a portion of the Safe Sidewalk Code.

Tools

by Megan Mazurek

ANCHORAGE - Mayor Dan Sullivan exercised his veto power Thursday (9/27) to undo the Assembly's vote to repeal a portion of the Safe Sidewalk Code.

Tuesday (9/25) the assembly voted 7 to 4 to repeal the ordinance that makes it illegal to sit or lie down on downtown sidewalks.

Debbie Ossiander and Dick Traini sponsored the ordinance to repeal it last year; they originally voted for the sidewalk ban.

The idea for the law initially came from homeless protester, John Martin, who sat on the corner of the street at City Hall protesting the city's homeless policies.

Mayor Sullivan says the ordinance is modeled after Seattle's ordinance and is used in cities across the country.

"I think it's an effective tool," said Sullivan. "If you saw the pictures of what was happening downtown of people literally starting to camp out on our sidewalks, we don't want our town to look like that many of the cities that passed a similar ordinance have seen it develop far beyond and we're actually beyond for putting an ordinance like this in place."

San Francisco passed a similar law by initiative in 2010.

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