Reject Bill No. 2014-10 AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO STREET PERFORMERS ON PUBLIC PROPERTY: AMENDING SECTION 23-8 SFCC 1987.

Petition Closed

Reject Bill No. 2014-10 AN ORDINANCE RELATING TO STREET PERFORMERS ON PUBLIC PROPERTY: AMENDING SECTION 23-8 SFCC 1987.

This petition had 717 supporters

George Robinson started this petition to Assistant City Attorney, City of Santa Fe, New Mexico Zach Shandler and

The purpose of the bill as amended is to allow and facilitate constitutionally protected freedom of expression through street performance in Santa Fe, New Mexico while at the same time properly recognizing and addressing issues that arise because of this right of expression. 

The problems that the City of Santa Fe recognizes are those of impediment to pedestrian traffic with possible impact on public safety and conflicts between performers and merchants because of proximity or sound levels.

The the types remedies proposed are limitation of audibility to 50 feet by subjective interpretation, restriction of available places to perform, ambiguous language concerning blocking a public thoroughfares, and restriction of amplification. Other remedies include issuance and wearing of a photo ID and explicit statement of the type of performance.

These remedies have been found by courts throughout the United States to be unconstitutional because they are overly broad and far too overarching in scope. Additionally the reqirements of photo ID and statement of performance have been found to be a prior restraint of free speech.

The application of the remedies as written would also be discriminatory. Some street performances are not stationary. Think of dancers. Some street performance necessarily cannot meet the audibility restriction. Consider a Mariachi Band or a solo violinist or saxophonist. Also, amplification is a necessary requirement for some instruments, for example an electronic keyboard that cannot produce sound with out an amplifier or a naturally quiet instrument like a Native American flute, which cannot be heard well over the ambient noise.

Some remedies proposed are not related to the issues the city is trying to address. The elimination of a short-term license, originally provided to facilitate traveling performers, does nothing to solve the problems stated by the city. Neither does the requirement to state the type of performance on the license application. Nor does the requirement that the performer must wear a city issued photo ID. The elimination of the use of the bandstand, the restriction of use public electrical outlets, and the restriction of vegetable matter also does not relate to the city's stated concerns.

In summary, the legislation does not facilitate freedom of expression but in fact limits freedom of expression. Remedies provided are not narrowly tailored to meet the City of Santa Fe's concerns of impact on pedestrian movement and conflicts arising because of sound and proximity. Some of the remedies do not address the concerns at all.

We recognize that the city has concerns and a responsibility to all to address them properly. To this we respectfully ask that the City Council of Santa Fe reject the proposed legislation at the council meeting this Wednesday the 30th of April and then endeavour to take on the challenge of creating legislation that is not overly restrictive, discriminatory, and without extraneous restriction. 

 

Petition Closed

This petition had 717 supporters