LAS VEGAS (FOX5) – Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said she’s confident the city is on the right track after it approved a controversial homeless camping ban.
WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW
“There’s no doubt we are doing the right thing,” said Goodman in a one-on-one interview with FOX5. “I’d had it. I woke up in the middle of the night and I said I had it. We do nothing but have meetings. More and more people demanding more meetings. And there’s never any change.”
The city of Las Vegas introduced the bill Sept. 25 that would make it a misdemeanor for homeless individuals to set up tents and makeshift shelters on city property. At a city council meeting Nov. 6, residents protested inside the council chambers and on the steps of Las Vegas City Hall in opposition to the ordinance.
Goodman said she’s not paying attention to the negativity but focused on how the ordinance will positively affect the homeless and the city.
Some critics argue the bill criminalizes being homeless. Goodman said police will be taking a more sensitive approach to the problem.
“We have the most wonderful, gentle, kind, caring members of law enforcement out with us, helping and talking to individuals and saying, 'You’re not allowed to sleep here. You’re not allowed to encamp. Let us help you go down to the courtyard,'” Goodman said.
Nonprofits like Catholic Charities and the ACLU of Nevada have spoken out in opposition.
“They need actual assistance," said Tod Story, executive director for the ACLU of Nevada. "They don’t need to be punished. This punitive approach is not going to solve any problems."
The ban goes into effect Nov. 10, but police won’t issue any misdemeanors until Feb. 1.
View Goodman’s interview in its entirety here.