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Milwaukee alderman wants to ban panhandling

Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan announced he will introduce an ordinance to ban panhandling in the city. He made his announcement at the intersection 35th and West National Avenue where sometimes a panhandler stands, Donovan said.

Donovan asked the citizens of Milwaukee to stop giving panhandlers money. He said panhandlers step into traffic making it a public safety issue.

He was surrounded by supporters during the announcement and he said he's heard from constituents as well. \"Sadly this money is often used to fuel their drug habits and we're exacerbating a problem by giving money to these individuals,” he said.

Kevin Sas-Perez lives in the north side of Milwaukee. He heard about the news conference and decided to attend. He doesn't agree with the proposed ordinance.

\"It's kind of more of a band aid…The issue is that people are in poverty and we're not doing enough and we aren't helping people get out of poverty,\" Sas-Perez said.

Sas-Perez said some panhandlers truly need the help.

\"Like the alderman is saying, some have drug issues and alcohol issues but there's a lot of people who they're just in a tough situation and they have nowhere to go, nothing to do, no way to provide for them and their family, and this is their last resort,\"

Donovan said to combat panhandling, the city needs to work with social services, police and organizations.

\"I don't pretend to have all of the answers either,\" Donovan said. \"I'm simply saying this is an issue. I stand committed to helping solve the issue as best I can.\"

Donavan plans to introduce the ordinance in the next city council cycle.

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