Sent back to the drawing board following skeptical reception of what was then called “Give Right Dallas,” city staff on Monday presented a revamped version of a campaign to discourage panhandling, starting with a new, more direct name: “End Panhandling Now.”
The rebrand worked for members of the City Council’s public safety committee, which endorsed a pilot program for the campaign. Dwaine Caraway, criticizing the project’s cost, was the lone dissenting vote against sending the campaign to the full council to be approved. The pilot is set to cost about $200,000.
That six-month pilot program provides for street outreach workers who can refer panhandlers to community services and coordinate with Dallas police officers navigating a tricky grey area that calls for enforcing solicitation laws without violating the First Amendment. Mercifully, it does not feature parking meters to be turned into spare change donation stations. Much of End Panhandling Now, however, is dedicated to public education, making the case that giving to panhandlers, whatever the short-term karmic rewards you feel, is a net negative for public safety and efforts to truly help people in poverty.
This means geo-targeted social media ads, a website, and PSAs, two of which I’ve uploaded below. I like the Frogger one.