Homeless: rest easy for the moment.
The City Council voted 3-2 today to delay the enforcement of the so-called "sit-lie" ordinance until more facilities to benefit homeless people are in place.
In a two-hour showcase of superb political turd polishing, the council members cited the absence of promised park benches, shower facilities, lockers and a 24-hour restroom in downtown as reasons not to move forward with with enforcement of an earlier ordinance, which criminalizes sitting or lying on sidewalks in Downtown Portland and the Lloyd District.
Commissioner Randy Leonard, who proposed the delay and was the only council member to vote against the original ordinance, said today that instituting a ban and not providing alternatives would merely export Portland's homeless population to Eastside neighborhoods. An estimated 2,000 Portlanders live on the streets, according to committee testimony.
The Council and the SAFE committee, which is overseeing the implementation of the ban, have set Aug. 9 as a tentative date to begin enforcement of the law, which became effective June 9. Mayor Tom Potter and Commissioner Dan Saltzman both voted against delaying enforcement of the measure.