Target: Bob Buckhorn, Mayor of Tampa, Florida
Goal: Don’t require non-profit groups to pay expensive permit fees in order to feed the homeless.
Several activists with the group Food Not Bombs have been arrested after feeding the homeless in a Tampa park. The activists were handing out hot coffee and bagels on a day that temperatures were dipping to unusually cold levels. The affair was orderly and without any altercations or illicit substances, but police still put a stop to it. They pulled the activists away from the tables as they served food, and even handcuffed them as they still wore their foodservice gloves.
The City of Tampa requires these types of groups to acquire a permit each and every time they want to distribute free food in city parks. Unfortunately, due to the frequency of Food Not Bombs’ gatherings, these permits would make them unable to distribute food nearly so often. If they had to pay for these expensive permits, food distribution gatherings would decline from twice a week to maybe twice a month.
Food Not Bombs activists therefore choose to risk arrest in order to ensure that the homeless are being fed on a regular basis. These kind people should not have to face legal trouble for helping their fellow humans. Instead, the City of Tampa should alter its laws to allow charity groups to gather to feed the homeless in city parks. Add your signature to the petition below to demand that the city take away its permit requirements for non-profit organizations.
Dear Mr. Buckhorn,
Seven people were recently arrested in a Tampa park where Food Not Bombs gathered to feed the homeless. On a particularly cold day, the activist group decided to hand out hot coffee and bagels. Police arrived, pulling them away from tables and handcuffing them while they still wore their foodservice gloves, simply because the group did not pay for a permit that is required to hand out food in parks.
These permits are quite expensive, and groups acquiring permits each time would be forced to feed the homeless far less frequently. This permit requirement therefore places undue financial burdens on charitable organizations who aim to help the hungry. We, the undersigned, ask you to modify Tampa laws to allow non-profits like Food Not Bombs to feed the homeless for free.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Karim Corban