As in any city, the topic of Atlanta's panhandling issue is a sticky subject indeed. The conversation here has always seemed to ping pong between a business community that would rather see the issue dealt with swiftly and forcefully, and activists who would rather take a more holistic approach. An ordinance put forward by City Solicitor Rainer Carter to the city's Public Safety Committee seems to take former route. The city's current 2005 ordinance calls for citations of up to $1,000, warnings, and eventual imprisonment after three convictions. Carter's proposal would increase that jail time to a maximum 180 days, and ban "aggressive" panhandling everywhere, not just the current tourist triangle. While the move has downtown business owners pleased, the illustrious Anita Beaty is already making her dissatisfaction known.
·Flap over panhandling back before Atlanta City Council[Atlanta Biz Chron]
·How serious is Midtown's panhandling problem? [Midtown Patch]