In a rare show of appreciation for Republican ideas, NPR has highlighted an idea that Republican Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry piloted in his city to combat panhandling – asking the panhandlers to work for the city for money instead. Albuquerque’s “There’s a Better Way” program recruits panhandlers, who have put in 2,000 work days, removed 65 tons of trash, and connected 250 people to permanent work. The program is working so well that other cities, including Denver, allegedly are looking to implement similar programs. PLEASE?
Here’s what Mayor Berry had to say about the program:
“So not only are we giving people the dignity of work, helping connect them to services at the end of the day, paying them cash, building them up as human beings. But we’re also telling our community, we can do better if we work together.”
We are stunned that anyone left of center would admit that there is a Republican idea worth stealing. Of course, this is something that Governor Hickenlooper could have implemented – it’s not a radically new idea, especially among conservatives. But, he was too busy talking about putting change into parking meters for the homeless and throwing money at random programs to implement something that actually restores human dignity and purpose to so many who are marginalized in our society.