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Eugene mayor wants council to discuss homeless ‘travelers’ who occupy public spaces

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy says she wants the city to have a conversation about young vagabonds occupying public spaces downtown.

Piercy sent an email to the city manager and council members saying she doesn’t want so-called “travelers” controlling plazas, corners and public spaces. She says she’s not judging people by their looks or lifestyle but wants public spaces to be for everyone to use.

Piercy tells the Register-Guard (http://bit.ly/1EHKlwW ) that the travelers have chosen a lifestyle of moving from place to place. She says they’re different than a traditional homeless population.

It’s unclear what Eugene could do to prevent people from sitting in public places.

Local ordinances prohibit people from blocking sidewalks, but courts have ruled unconstitutional local laws that ban loitering, panhandling and other behaviors common among homeless people.