Salem, OR City Council Votes to Ban Smoking on Public Sidewalks

It appears that the Salem City Council believes it’s OK to harass and bully one group of people in order to appease another. On Monday evening the council voted 6-2 to ban smoking on the sidewalks and landscape strips in the public right-of-way adjacent to properties where smoking is prohibited. Councilors Brad Nanke and Bruce Rogers were the two no votes with Nanke making strong objections to the ban.

This ban will expand private property NO SMOKING ZONES to include the public sidewalks and landscape strips that are adjacent to Salem Hospital and Willamette University. The same sidewalks that smokers use and that they pay for with their tax dollars – how is it fair to prevent taxpaying citizens from engaging in a legal activity on property that they pay for? It’s not and with only two councilors voting no – one with a strong voice for freedom and liberty and the other for neighborhood concerns – the City of Salem has granted permission for a minority group to be bullied because they don’t approve of the legal activity they are engaged in.

Watch the testimony and discussion (1:34:43) and listen closely to how this issue was presented to the council and the words the proponents use to sell the concept of stripping law abiding citizens of their rights in the name of “cultural values.”

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