So, the final vote on the “aggressive panhandling” bill is tonight. (Some background, including my stance on the whole thing can be found here). I just got e-mail from Skip Courtney, president of the URA, sent to the Metro council.

I know each of you already is aware of this, but hopefully my reminder will serve to attach a special beacon to this critical bill. As President of the Urban Residents Association, I represent a special group of pioneers who have taken a considerable risk to repopulate the downtown core of Nashville.

As pioneers, we understand that there will be challenges to overcome.

We also represent a new class of citizens who spend time in the downtown core.

Ow. I think I just sprained my eyeballs from excessive eyerolling. It goes on like that. “Special group of pioneers”?? Give me a break. He’s right at least that they represent a class of citizens, but it’s not a new one. Here we have a group of upper-middle class people repopulating a formerly destitute urban area, panicking at the mere sight of actual homeless people, and resorting to government authority to ban public behaviour, and still managing to be a martyr about it. Only in America. Sometimes I think the members of the URA need a field trip over to east Nashville or Hope Gardens. A friend of mine was woken up last night by some dude screaming and bleeding all over the sidewalk.

There are organizations and individuals who would have you believe that this is an unfair bill that targets the homeless, but that is simply not true. For those who truly need help in this city and seek it, it is readily available.

This is perhaps the more infuriating part of the whole situation. The blase disregard for the reality that help is not readily available is frustrating. I would encourage Skip and others living downtown to investigate a little further the resources that are “readily available” to the homeless in Nashville, rather than relying on the skimpy claims of the downtown partnership’s glossy slicks.

I swear, after we fix the downtown panhandling “problem”, we’re gonna need an enormous civic undertaking to clean up after all the massive pantswetting flooding the area.