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Ashland City Council Passes Exclusion Zone

By Erin Maxson and Evan Bell

ASHLAND, Ore. — The Exclusion Zone in Ashland passed during the City Council’s final vote Tuesday night. All but one council member voted for the ordinance, but immediately after they amended it.

Councilors decided camping will not be one of the three citations that lead to someone being kicked out of the downtown area. Twelve people spoke during public comment. Most of them spoke against the ordinance which will ban someone from the downtown area for three months after they receiving three qualifying city citations.

“Legalize Sleep” made up camp outside the City Council’s Chambers in protest of what they feel is discrimination against the poor and homeless. One “Legalize Sleep” activist says she actually supported the Exclusion Zone, except for citations which she felt purposely targeted the homeless, like those given for camping.

The council members also passed an ordinance which will automatic ban someone from downtown if they fail to appear in court after issued a citation.