Instead of Selling??
Suggested Donations even for Digital Version? What’s that about?
Did you know that no one can sell any product on the streets of Phoenix without a Street Vendors permit that has High Barriers like a $150 fee per individual, restricted locations, background check – $150 fee and limited times?
That’s why we “give away” the StreetLights Street Paper for a suggested donation of $2.00 or any amount you feel generous enough to share. We also only stand in front of local businesses if the management has approved the distribution. They often agree to this because it reduces the pan handlers and beggars that invade their storefronts.
Begging is legal, and protected under the 1st amendment. Local cops do comply with this because there has already been lawsuits in Arizona regarding this. Actually, Freedom of the Press – the part about free and unrestricted distribution also protects our right to sell the paper anywhere we want that is a appropriate for contact with the public.
Unfortunately, if a combative attitude and approach is taken, one would have to be okay with being arrested and taken to jail by local cops. Many cops don’t care about the USA Supreme Court decisions on this subject. They don’t usually want to hear you defend the right to distribute information freely.
Often, cops are responding to a complaint made by a local business owner. Sometimes calls come from a “concerned citizen – aka competing pan handler.” So they will arrest you. Even though they know the charges are likely to be dropped. First, you have to come up with bail or be locked up as long as it takes the DA to prosecute your case. You would have to fight your case in front of the Judge usually without an attorney due to costs and access. The Judge may or may not dismiss the case and then you might have to appeal that decision.
This is a long, contentious battle. StreetLights does not have the resources available at this time (although, we will soon). It’s much easier to just ask for a donation. We offer the paper as a Thank You Gift. And because there is a giveaway involved the distributor retains a sense of pride.
You can make a suggested donation of $2.00 right here online. You can give any amount you choose for your copy of the paper through PayPal.me/TheStreetFairy without exposing your financial information.
Soon, individual distributors will be able to accept digital donations. Some will be able to accept debit/credit cards right there on the street via a phone app.
Even Street Paper Distributors have to stay up to date with changing technology.