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I received an email from someone regarding the previous discussion on the Collinsville Crime Free/Occupancy Ordinance.
The City is not replying to emails from some concerned landlords who merely want an opportunity to partake in the discussion on this issue. It appears the City has made up its mind that this is going through despite what public sentiment may be. The wording has been changed to presumably appease some of the landlords, but it is still ambiguous, poorly-written, and vague. This is by design.
The City can no more prevent crime by way of such an ordinance any more than they can with law enforcement tools presently at their disposal. Laws exist to protect the rights of the individual, not to perpetuate or supplement the power of the State or city council. In essence, the city is saying that landlords attract criminals and people who rent are the cause of the City’s crime problems.
Regarding “Nuisances”, the language has been changed to specify “felony crimes”, but read carefully:
“…or the commission of any two or more other felony crimes under the laws of the State of Illinois or United States, not otherwise listed above.” They also list, “pandering, sale of obscene publication, criminal housing management, gambling, any violation of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, any violation of the Cannabis Control Act…” Now, they do not mention “conviction”, they mention commission. This can mean if the police charge that you have committed, even though you have not been tried or convicted, you can be in violation of this ordinance. How do they also define the rest of the list, “pandering…”?‚ More ambiguity and vagueness.
The City is working on a sophisticated method of ethnic cleansing and creating an administrative end-run around constitutional protections. Should you ever find yourself in an administrative venue just try bringing the constitution into the argument. The judge will tell you the Constitution does not apply in his court. He is telling the truth, because when you are being processed “administratively”, you have signed something and now possess a license or permit which they control.
The best approach is to disobey en masse and prepare for a prosecution which will fall apart upon proper challenges.
As corporate counsel, Steve Giacoletto told me, (paraphrasing), “They pass bad law all the time, but it is still law until someone challenges it.” There you go. Straight from the horses mouth.
A true “Crime Free” ordinance would include disbanding the fools sitting in judgment over you “renters” and “landlords”…. and people in general.
There is a good article on theshriverbrief.org about how arrest record screenings fail to fight crime while impeding fair housing.