ASHLAND, Ore. -- The Ashland City Council picked up the Second Reading of Ordinance 3176 where the members first had to put it down in July. The councilors were supposed to vote on the ordinance then, but ran out of time.
Tuesday night, the City Council passed the Ashland ID ordinance 4-1. City Councilor Julie Akins was the only councilmember to vote ‘no.’ One councilor was not present at Tuesday night’s meeting.
The room was packed with people against the vote. As soon as the ordinance passed, many left. Some stood up and turned their backs to the City Council.
“This disproportionately affects people of color, people in the trans community, non-binary folks. It’s something we don’t want in our community and to be going down that pathway,” said Ashland resident Sarah Spansail who was at Tuesday night’s meeting.
The City Council did amend a part of the ordinance in regards to 'probable cause' that had some concerned. The ordinance originally allowed an Ashland police officer to ask for someone's name and birthday if there was probable cause that that person has broken an Ashland law. Now the ordinance gets rid of probable cause. An officer has be issuing a citation.
“I’m hopeful that that adjustment can mitigated some of the anxiety that’s out there. It does not substantially change the manner of the ordinance,” said Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara.
Ordinance 3176 says if an Ashland police officer is trying to write someone a citation and they knowingly don’t give their name and date of birth, they can be arrested. They also face 30 days in jail and a $1,250 fine.
“This gets us better aligned to fulfill our mandate and fulfill core functions of a police department.” Chief O’Meara added.
Despite the change, many are still very concerned about this new law.
“It doesn’t make us feel safer as a community,” Spansail said. “It makes me feel less safe knowing we’re heading in the direction of more Draconian and kind of fascist laws.”
The ordinance goes into effect in 30 days. It will expire a year later to study its impacts and how it’s been used.
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