Newly elected Tampa City Council is friendlier to panhandling ban

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Tuesday’s election may resuscitate the effort to ban panhandling.

Three new Tampa City Council members said Wednesday they support a ban.

The fourth new member, Frank Reddick, said he does not. Returning members Charlie Miranda and Yvonne Yolie Capin have consistently voted against one.

The apparent deciding vote, Mary Mulhern, was one of two members to vote for a partial ban last month. But on Wednesday, she was noncommittal.

“It really is going to depend on what’s reported to us, what’s proposed,” she said. “My ears are always open.”

The new council’s split stance should bring hope to supporters of a ban. The current council delayed the issue for months, only to finally defeat a partial ban by a 5-2 vote.

New members Mike Suarez and Lisa Montelione said they would couple an all-out ban with aid for those affected, such as housing and jobs.

“This is not just a plan to hide the homeless,” said Suarez, who won the District 1 citywide seat Tuesday. “It truly is about public safety and protecting those folks out there.” Continue reading Jack Nicas’ storyhere.


Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.