Media Contact

ACLU of Florida Media Office,, (786) 363-2737

April 14, 2017

PENSACOLA, FL – The Pensacola city council today approved an ordinance which would prohibit individuals from asking for donations in much of downtown Pensacola.

Responding to the vote, ACLU of Florida staff attorney Jacqueline Azis stated:

“Today, the Pensacola City Council voted to strip the neediest members of the community of their free speech rights by banning individuals from asking for public donations. Not only does this ordinance hinder free expression, it also puts the City on constitutionally shaky ground by banning speech simply because some would rather not hear it. It is unconscionable to punish individuals for being poor and for asking for charity. Our leaders should focus on addressing the underlying causes of the very real problem of homelessness in Pensacola, not wasting taxpayer dollars or police resources on enforcing and defending an ordinance that clearly violates the First Amendment.”