ProJo: West Warwick measure to dissuade giving to panhandlers defeated 4-1

“These signs do nothing but demonize the poor,” resident Richard Garganta said. He was among 70 people who gathered to observe the meeting.

WEST WARWICK, R.I. — A resolution to place signs urging people to donate to charity instead of giving money to panhandlers was defeated 4-1 in a town council meeting Tuesday evening, following withering public opposition to it.

“These signs do nothing but demonize the poor,” said West Warwick resident Richard Garganta. “It's a very light method of doing so, but it's still demonizing the poor.”

Over 70 people gathered in West Warwick Town Hall to observe the proceedings in which Council President David A. Gosselin Jr. defended his proposal, which he said he presented after observing similar signs in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

“We didn't want to take away anyone's rights,” said Gosselin. “Over the past two weeks, it's been interesting.

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Courtesy of Providence Journal

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