Vote on David Chiu’s handbill law postponed amid concerns 

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu continued a vote Tuesday on his proposed legislation that would amend regulations on the distribution of handbills, like restaurant menus and political fliers.

Chiu requested the board hold off on a vote until its Feb. 15 meeting. And in the meantime, he plans to address the concerns raised.

“Over the last few days a number of members of the public have raised some questions and I think there has been a little bit of confusion around what exactly this ordinance does,” Chiu said. In the next two weeks, Chiu said his office will “meet with the various folks that have contacted us and to answer question and hopefully work through any issues that remain.”

Supervisor John Avalos welcomed the delay.

“There have been concerns whether this ordinance  could inhibit at some level political speech around our political campaigns,” Avalos said.

But it sounds like the bill is heading for approval.

“What I like about this ordinance is it does not have any impact on people’s ability to either mail or personally deliver pieces of paper,” said Supervisor Scott Wiener. “ All it does is it requires that it  be affixed which is defined broadly.  It can be in the door jamb, it can be on the door knob, it can be in the gate – just to be placed in a way that it does not blow away. I think it is a move  in the right direction. I hope that we will be able to adopt it.”

The legislation would make it illegal to distribute handbills in any way where they are not securely fastened and it will make it easier for The City to penalize violators. The proposed law also gives residents the option to install a smaller “no handbills” sign.

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