The new ordinance, passed at a contentious council meeting, makes it a misdemeanor for homeless people to camp or sleep on the streets if beds at established shelters are available. The new restrictions would apply to certain parts of the city’s downtown area, not the Las Vegas Strip, Reno Gazette Journal reported.
Officials argued the legislation was “aimed at getting the city’s homeless population off the streets and connected with services,” Fox 5 reported. But Mayor Carolyn Goodman (I), a sponsor of the bill, and the City Council faced a raucous demonstration from activists as the law passed 5-2.
Demonstrators flooded the chamber with chants of “Housing not handcuffs! and “Hey hey, ho ho – the war on the poor has got to go!”
Goodman, the mayor, portrayed the new law as “the beginning seed to build something that will flourish,” according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.
“This is flawed,” she said, “but it is a start.”
The law goes into effect Sunday but would not be enforced until Feb. 1, 2020, the Journal reported.
Violators could face up to six months in jail or fines up to $1,000.
Numerous Democratic presidential candidates spoke out