A clear majority of Council Members voted tonight to approve regulation of sidewalk news racks in the absence of any print media's willingness to take personal responsibility for them.
Co-sponsor Mike Jameson gave an impassioned plea not to the proponents, the majority of which he knew he had, but to the opponents of the bill to have him come speak to their neighborhood groups about the measure with the promise that the meetings would not be packed from people from the news publishing industry. He told them that every neighborhood group with which he has spoken has approved of regulating news racks because they believe them to be a problem. He also showed pictures of sidewalks crammed with news racks for effect.
Mr. Jameson also said that the bill would not take effect for 10 weeks and that the print media had that much time to come up with a comprehensive voluntary plan that they could all sign on to and that they would all be accountable for. If they did Mr. Jameson promised to work to repeal RS2007-1372. He admitted that he does not believe that they will do so, because they cannot even agree on regulation of news racks now and they completely failed to abide by the agreement that they signed 8 years ago to police their racks.
If the Mayor signs off, this is real progress for neighborhoods, and particularly for our Downtown residents (Mr. Jameson said that the Urban Residents Association voted unanimously to support regulating news racks).