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ACLU Pushes Akron to Repeal Restrictions on Panhandling

Marilyn Keith

The American Civil Liberties Union wants Akron to repeal an ordinance that restricts panhandling in the city. WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports.

In a letter to the city, the Ohio chapter of the ACLU calls Akron’s regulation of public begging a free-speech violation.


Council President Marilyn Keith says issues raised by the ACLU must be discussed, but, that city and local agencies offer sufficient resources to keep anyone from going without. She says discouraging panhandling better ensures that people will seek help. 

“I believe this will answer two things, if we start addressing it. One, those in need will start to use the resources. No. 2: those that are not in need, that are making this a money deal, it’s not going to be worth their while to do this.”

Keith says, by “money deal” she means begging for cash -- not to buy food, but to feed addiction.

Marilyn Keith in the WKSU Akron Bureau
Credit Tim Rudell