"No one should have to show up to work and clean feces from the building, blood from a front porch, or needles in the landscaping." This according to one comment on a petition that recently came to my attention, which seeks to raise awareness, and provoke action form city government, on the problem of vagrancy in downtown St. Augustine.
The city and the police department are very well aware of the vagrancy watch groups that have gained attention in the last few months, and say they are working with members of the groups, as well as compiling evidence from their pages, in order to have more information on the issue.
They say they will use that information to help inform the writing of a new ordinance that will be aimed at addressing the issue.
The petition claims, they're not acting fast enough.
The petition can be found HERE if you would like to sign it >>>>https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/st-augustine-citizens-against-panhandling
We the citizens, visitors, and business owners of Saint Augustine find that our city government has not done enough to protect us from panhandlers, vagrants, and their negative consequences. We are watching our businesses suffer, our city be destroyed, and see no leadership or even communication about the issue. We as a community are being given no resources or support even though the city management has referred to this as a CRISIS.
We see drug deals happening in the open, people passed out in the street, people openly drunk and high, and feces and urine all over our properties. Everyone signing here has in some way been affected by the issue and believes that the city has not done enough to address it. Maybe by banding together you will finally listen to us and DO SOMETHING.
We demand action, communication, and leadership. Why are there no police walking downtown every single day? Why has the city not reached out and spoken to the business owners about how they are suffering? Why is there no hotline set up to call? Where are the cameras to monitor the issues we see EVERY SINGLE DAY? We will no longer stay silent on this issue.
We DEMAND to be heard and respected. Read through the comments and hear the stories of your constituents calling for your help. It's time to stand up and take charge.
Here are a few of the comments that concerned residents have left on the petition page. Organizers are hoping for at least 1,000 signatures over the next few days, in order to get the attention of city officials.