Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rivera's Proposal Attacks Indy's Poor, Neighborhoods, and Private Property Owners so the City Can Kiss a Little NFL Butt

  On June 27th, At-Large City-County Councillor Angel Rivera introduced what became Proposal #188.  According to the digest of the proposed ordinance, it "amends portions of the code pertaining to the permitting, licensing, and organization of activities related to special events licensed by the department of code enforcement, and adds a new chapter creating an annual license for ticket broker engaged in the sale or resale of tickets on public streets, sidewalks, and alleys."

Councillor Rivera

Oh, is that all?   Well that sounds innocent enough, I guess.  Like most digests and summaries these days, though, it's a nicely written paragraph that has very little to do with what the bill or ordinance contains.  In reality, they are written the way they are so folks like you and I with a little political interest look at the digest and move on, uninterested.

Let me tell you a little secret that Angel Rivera and any other supporters of Proposal 188 don't want you to know:  This ordinance is an all-out attack on property owners, neighborhoods, and the poor in our city, especially downtown and especially because of one week of festivities surrounding the 2012 Super Bowl.

Let's break 188 down...

First, Ticket Brokers.  188 repeals two other sections of code (specifically 407-107 through 407-109 and Chapter 431, Article II) regarding selling and reselling of tickets around NCAA events, NFL events and at Victory Field.  What it replaces these with is an attack on the poor who are trying to make a little income to support themselves by selling tickets on the sidewalk. It does this by saying no one can resell or repurchase a ticket within ONE MILE of: Lucas Oil Stadium, Conseco Fieldhouse, Victory Field, Hinkle Fieldhouse, MuratTheatre at Old National Centre, Indianapolis Convention Center, Indiana State Fairgrounds, and White River State Park...or any other place where more than 500 people can gather.  (Well, not quite no one....people with a license or with written permission from the event organizers are allowed....so no one.)

Is it really that bad to see some people trying to sell tix on the sidewalks?  Are they really that much of a bother?  I agree that there is some risk of counterfeit tickets, but it is a small one.  Besides, 188 does nothing to prevent counterfeit tickets other than saying you can't sell within a mile of the event and by saying the police have the right to inspect the tickets being resold or repurchased (the police probably won't know if it's counterfeit much better than you or I would).  This is just an attack on the poor, similar to the bills preventing panhandling, because the city refuses to let visitors know that the poor and homeless exist here in the Circle City. Ticket resellers present very little potential harm and this ordinance is not about fixing that.  The City doesn't want the resellers out there because the NFL doesn't want them there...it's as simple as that.

Next, 188 attacks the street vendors.  God forbid you try to buy a hot dog from someone other than the NFL or the NCAA, because that's basically what 188 prevents. The ordinance creates "Clean Zones" (their term, not mine....sounds like something established in the event of a plague).  These Clean Zones are a vague, undefined area (the clean zone for each event will be specifically designated at some unknown time before the event) where street vendors cannot make their living without the specific permission of the event organizer.  We all know what that means...no street vendors allowed unless they pay the NFL or the NCAA or whoever some outrageous fee that will make it unappealing and probably unprofitable for the vendors to be there.  I guess they'll probably go a mile away and try to sell their hot dogs to the ticket resellers.

The included events?  The 500 Festival, Indiana Black Expo, The St. Patrick's Day Parade, The Circle City Classic Parade, The Circle of Lights, The Indiana State Fair, all NCAA Championships or related events, Big Ten Championships or related events, NBA Finals or All-Star games and related events, NFL Super Bowl, Pro-Bowl, draft and related events, WNBA Finals or All-Star game or related events.  Yep, pretty much everything.

Finally, Proposal 188 attacks private property owners.  You know those ultra-convenient lawns that the owners will let you park on for a fee? These owners are responding to a market-based demand for close, convenient parking.  Well, don't get used to seeing them anymore.  If the property is within the aforementioned vague clean zone, you have to pay a fee for a license to allow for this parking. What damage was being done by the owners providing this service?  None at all.  This is just a way for the City to make a money-grab.  $75 for the right to let people park on your lawn or a big fine if you get caught doing it without a license.  And who are these property owners?  Again, they are almost exclusively the poor and the lower-middle class who are just trying to have a little extra to put bread on the table with.

The City won't have that, though.  You see, the NFL owns us now.  If the NFL wants to make the money, they get to make the money.  If the NFL says they don't want to see it, we'll pass an ordinance to make it illegal.  None of this is about doing anything that is better for the City in the long run, it's all about doing what the NFL wants for a one-day event and making it permanent.

Proposal 188 will probably be coming up for a vote on Monday 8/15.  That's not set in stone, yet, because the Council won't release their agenda until Friday 8/12 (they'd hate for us to have any real time to examine the proposals they'll be discussing).  I'll update on here if that proves to be the case.

Thanks to Had Enough Indy? for posting this update on 188. It points out the Rules and Public Policy Committee will have 188 at the top of their agenda tonight at 6:00 PM in room 260 of the City-County Building.  The blog also has some very good investigative reporting into the details of 188.  I recommend you check it out.


  1. Sir,

    Your posting appears to misunderstand the proposal. I'd be glad to clarify those for you. Angel Rivera 317-331-5915

  2. I've been to several events at the Murat and Hinkle. I've NEVER seen a single person selling tickets to those individual events at Hinkle. And it's never been much of a problem in my years of going to the Murat.

    But those venues are private property. What right does the city have to regulate them?

  3. I see your point and it is outrageous to me that the city is regulating the terms and conditions of a small profit for poverty stricken areas. However, I do see liablity issues which can come into play when nothing is being monitored. You see this happen in big cities all the time. Property damage and the like. You do make a good argument....especially in this economically turmoiled time why is this proposal necessary?

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  5. Is anyone surprised Angel is sponsoring this? He is the epitome of why the Re[ublican council majority will be thrown out of office come November 7th. Angel will rubberstamp any proposal he's handed by the administration. It doesn't matter if the proposal raises taxes or fees (Ballard's done so over 100 times), increases the size of government, increases regulation, or cuts insdier deals at taxpayer expense. Angel will gladly sponsor it and cheer it on. He has no conservative philosophy whatsoever and has no interest in standing up for taxpayers while on the council.

    What's the purpose of having a Republican on the Council if he's going to act like a liberal, big spending Democrat? Angel voted for the 50 year parking meter deal that will line the pockets of ACS for the next 50 years, mortgaging our future. He voted to put the taxpayers on the hook for $100 million for the North of South project. He doesn't seem to care whatsoever about standing up for taxpayers in his job.

    It's ironic that Angel should say the author "misunderstands" the proposal. Clearly Angel "misunderstands" what being a Republican is all about.

  6. Angel is the biggest joke in the history of the CCC.

    He was placed in that position by Tom john, Johns theory was that Angel will bring in the Hispanic vote...

    How did that work TOJO?

    Im not sure how Angel can sleep at night knowing that he is the token Hispanic for the MCRCC and Dave Brooks.Angel does what ever Brooks and the 25th floor tell him to do.He was placed in his position ( not elected) because he is nothing more than a rubber stamp for the Mayor.

    The NFL now owns this city.Im sure that Angel is hoping to get some good seats to the game from his actions.He should be ashamed of himself. Instead of helping the Hispanic community he is a sell out for the Ballards and Brooks of the world.

    The fact that Brooks tells Angel what to do,how to do it and when to do it is sick. Angel is thinking that the Hispanic community will get him elected at Large. Well since he could care less about the Hispanic community and he has no money in his campaign he is at the Mercy of the MCRCC, who only will now back the Mayors race. Just ask any Republican CCC candidate , and they will tell you they are getting no love from Brooks or Walker.

    Angel is more concerned with hanging out at the Colombia club that with the Hispanic community

    Angel, Im really not sure how you sleep at night. You are a sell out

    Angel, todos sabemos que eres una abdicación

  7. @IndyStudent, as a former season ticket holder for Butler Basketball games, I can tell you there are professional scalpers outside Hinkle at nearly every game. I don't know how you can miss the "who needs tickets?" cries outside Gate 4.

  8. I like your blog, but this brown background is very hard on my eyes.

    Ogden's format is much easier to read.

  9. I'm no expert, but based upon my rEading f the ordinance and media coverage, it appears that you're off base on a couple of areas. Regarding ticket brokers, people are not prevented from selling tickets. On the contrary, the license allows for such activity specifically. It seems logical that if some desired this practice to be prohibited, the ordinance would have done so. Both the industry (including those selling on the street) and fans think this measure is not only appropriate, but necessary. Finally, the comments tying this to the Super Bowl do not make sense. No one is buying a $2500 ticket from a broker on the street. That is Internet or brick and mortar shops providing that service.

    Reference street vendors, my reading of the ordinance shows that vendors have always been required to obtain a temporary license to operate during a special event. Again, this seems to be a reasonable requirement as many non-profits use amounts paid by good vendors as a way to fundraise for their events. Moreso, this seems to help avoid disability and pedestrian access issues on streets and sidewalks during large events. Finally, there is a certain irony in a libertarian blog defending hot dog cart operators, who have a virtual monopoly in geographic areas due to their "zones."

    As to residential parking, I watched the committee hearing last night and the fee for this was removed. So it appears to be much ado about nothing.

    I find some of the name calling and "sell out" comments to be the usual, suspect, ignorant, and self serving comments found on other blogs. And as usual, hypocritical as well. Paul Ogden, for example, will make disparaging remarks about others and denigrate their motives. Meantime, Paul uses his blog to (a) notify everyone that he was (once) a primary candidate for something and that he held a (insignificant) government position (before he got fired), and (b) to further the reach of his parasitic law practice and legal fees earned at the expense of taxpayers. I've been told that he consistently brings frivolous suits against the City in the hopes that he will recover his attorney's fees. So Paul, here's to the hopes that you will do what you encourage others to do and become part of the solution, not the problem.

  10. ^^^^ Looks like Kyle Walker finally got that GOP internship filled.

    @gobnatix: My mistake. I got Hinkle mixed up with Clowes Memorial Hall, which I frequently attend concerts at and haven't encountered ticket scalpers there. You're right, Hinkle has them like everybody else.

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