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Anderson defers Bill 6

Another "sidewalk bill" dies as the city struggles to find a solution to houselessness

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Honolulu City Council vice chair Ikaika Anderson deferred his own “sidewalk bill” today, even before the opponents delivered their oral testimony.

In a press release, Anderson said: “The City must continue to keep our sidewalks clear, and encourage our homeless population to seek available services ... We must also continue to proceed in a responsible but compassionate manner.”

The original bill (Bill 6, 2013) was introduced almost a year ago and would have made putting up a tent on a sidewalk or mall a misdemeanor and would have allowed the city to seize the tent and any belongings left inside. From Bill 6: “Any person ... violating ... the terms of any permit issued under this article shall, upon conviction, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000.00 or by imprisonment not exceeding one year, or by both.”

Anderson says he will introduce a new bill this year that would not make occupying a sidewalk with a tent a crime, but which would allow police to issue citations if a tent is not removed after a complaint is received by a member of the public.

Anderson is running for Congress, as is fellow city council member Stanley Chang (who also introduced a “sidewalk bill,” Bill 59, which was killed after receiving numerous opposing testimonies). Another Congressional hopeful, Kathryn Xian, was also present today, submitting oral testimony in opposition to the bill. Xian is the only candidate who has not previously held public office. She is the executive director at Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery.

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