Home / Bureaucracy / Arizona Arrests a Woman for Feeding the Poor in Her Driveway.
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Arizona Arrests a Woman for Feeding the Poor in Her Driveway.

Written by Gary North on October 25, 2012

Free food given away in driveways is no laughing matter in Arizona, where it until this month was also illegal to give bottled water to people at a public religious festival. It took the threat of legal action, coupled with a public relations campaign by the Rutherford Institute, to persuade the Phoenix city council to repeal the law.

Now the Rutherford Institute has another city ordinance in its cross-hairs. Rutherford is a legal defense organization. It is coming to the rescue of a woman who is giving away food in her driveway. The city of Glendale sent a policeman to warn Millie Ramirez that she was violating the law by giving away free food in her driveway.

This woman, the city says, is a menace to society. I am sure you can understand the city’s position.

For seven years, Ramirez has collected donations from area grocers and made them available to needy families by setting up a temporary food bank in her driveway, which she puts up and takes down each day. In taking issue with the makeshift “food bank,” Glendale officials insist that Ramirez is violating the Glendale City Code by storing materials outside her home, citing her charitable activities as being an “illegal home occupation,” an “illegal land use,” and as unlawfully lacking a “business license.”

Can you imagine this? Using a driveway for seven years without getting a business license.

What about her first amendment rights of the free exercise of religion? Irrelevant, the city says. What about due process under the 14th amendment? The city says she got due process. She was warned by a cop to stop it. That’s enough due process for anyone.

John Whitehead, the head of the Rutherford Institute, has issued a press release.

“Once again, we find ourselves in the inexplicable position of actually having to protect Americans from a governmental bureaucracy intent on asserting its authority, even to the detriment of such fundamental First Amendment rights as free speech, free exercise of religion and assembly. Unfortunately, this is all part of the ongoing breakdown in representative government that has landed us with a mess of vague laws criminalizing the most innocuous activities, such as holding Bible studies in one’s home or sharing food with the needy.”

I have known Whitehead for 30 years. He is a troublemaker. He takes these hard-line positions all the time. City councils resent him and his organization.

Here are the facts.

Ramirez lays out the food on temporary shelves placed on her driveway, which she puts up and takes down each day. Recently, however, Ramirez has been subjected to repeated harassment by Glendale city officials, who have issued “compliance notices” stating that she is in violation of Glendale’s storage ordinances and cited her for violating City Code § 25-21 (f), which states that “no person shall place and/or store furniture … in a location that is visible to a person standing upon any public street or sidewalk.”

The Glendale city council understands that such unauthorized activities like these threaten the very fabric of society.

Whitehead continued. The law “could also be used to outlaw tables used for occasional lemonade stands and yard sales, as well as items regularly used outdoors in residential neighborhoods—garden hoses, lawn tools, watering cans, signage, picnic blankets and baskets, children’s toys, bicycles, etc.”

That is the logic of the city’s position. Who knows? If the Rutherford Institute loses in court, the city council may begin to prosecute these other infractions. It all depends on public relations. Constitutional liberties will play no part in the city council’s decision. PR is what matters.

Continue Reading on www.rutherford.org

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21 thoughts on “Arizona Arrests a Woman for Feeding the Poor in Her Driveway.

  1. I'm on the side of the city in this instance.

  2. So Robbie needs a protector, an overseer a force that will arrest people that are not forcing anyone to do anything. People who need escorts while out in public like Robbie should not be alienated so to make things fair everyone should be forced to have escorts and live by the escort’s rule.
    FYI Robbie, more than 90% of the food government entities declare safe to eat has poison in it. The food that government entities declare safe to eat is the main culprit of many unhealthy states. Obesity, heart diseases, blood toxins to name a few.
    Also more than 90% of immediate food poisonings could have been prevented by the end user not the distributor. The freshest food handled as well as anyone possible can, will not prevent how the end user will use it.
    When buyer beware becomes seller beware or as in this case giver then the buyer’s and taker’s choices are limited and scarcest. I do not have a problem with FDA approved, its FDA enforcement that everyone should be concerned with. Granting flesh bodies that are subject to influence via family, friends and money to be watchmen without watchmen’s is quite delusional of the grantor. http://www.numbersusa.com / http://www.goooh.com

  3. Hey, come on now, we can't have people actually feeding the poor, can we? What will become of us if we allow that to go on?

  4. Paul Brown says:

    Yes, we are taught in the Bible that we are as fellow human beings we are to help the needy and poor where ever and when ever we can. Yet the government wants to make it a crime to lift a finger to help your fellow man. It is sad, no, an abomination, to declare this woman, or anyone who dares to try to help those in need as a menace to society. Since the US government has declared itself as the Nanny State, it feels as if it is there right and responsibility to take care of the poor and needy. Any individual who is caught doing the governments job of taking care of these people will be persecuted, prosecuted, fined, and jailed, for caring for and trying to help those in need. Some comes to you who needs help, government teaches, turn a blind eye and a deaf ear" to those in need., and ignore them. That is now our job, and if you are caught doing our job, you will pay dearly for trying yo do our job. That is what happens when we live in a society run by godless, uncaring, heathens.

  5. paul this goes right along with the liberals attempts to kill god in the U.S.A.

  6. Texas Chris says:

    Millie Ramirez needs to run for City Council. She wouldn't even have to win, just run, and they'll cave in and leave her alone.

  7. Texas Chris says:

    I agree. Because how DARE a mere private citizen even THINK of competing with the city to feed the needy?!?! THE HORROR!

    She should be hanged on a gibbet and the dragged thru the streets for organizing voluntarily what the city fails to do with force.

    /sarcasm off

  8. Texas Chris says:

    I know, right? We might actually end hunger!!! THEN WHAT WOULD POLITICIANS COMPLAIN ABOUT!?!!?

  9. Texas Chris says:

    The problem isn't that she's feeding the hungry. the problem is that she didn't pay the required bribe and get official permission to do it.

  10. onewildman says:

    The liberals in this Nation do not want any privet party providing for the needy. They want all the needy at all levels to be dependent on Government assistance. They want them to be beholding. Thus guaranteeing they will vote for the liberals who are giving them just enough to keep them dependent on liberals running the Government.

    IMPRISON OBAMA NOW! ! ! ! ! !

  11. The bottom line is that her act of kindness goes against the prevailing notion that it's the government's job to take care of people. Any individual acting outside of that paradigm is a threat and must be dealt with. Bureaucrats hate nothing more than to be looked upon as irrelevant.

  12. And what a fantastic job the government is doing too! I still remember how well the SEC regulated the markets to avoid the derivatives and mortgage-backed securities fraud that bankrupted the country a few years back, and the dedication federal inspectors demonstrated when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank into the ocean because the blowout preventers were overdue for regular maintenance by 4 years. Tax money well spent.

  13. so, on what basis is it GOVERNMENT"S work to "feed the poor"? If they'd shrink away like a bad hemmorhoid, there would be a lot fewer poor. Interesitng this woman is "charged" with violaing a Glendale law about allowing furniture to be visible from the public right of way, and NOT feeding the poor, violating food handling laws, sanitation, permit requirements, land use, etc. I'll lay any amount at any odds I could walk up and down her street, both sides, with a camera, and record at least two dozen OTHER instances where some piece of "furniture" is visible from the public right of way. even if it is the back of a chesterfield bisible throuhg the front window of a house, or a lawn chair in a side yard. Maybe the top of a swing set visible over the fence… someone offer me a thousand bucks for each such image and I'll come on down and do it. Glendale's swelled-headded "leaders" need to get a life. Maybe even better… get replaced. With people like this woman who actually CARE about others.

  14. SumerianMan says:

    And here I thought Arizona was one of thye very few states that showed a little commonsense, wrong!

  15. SumerianMan says:

    Robbie must be part of the COINTELPRO (counter intelligence program) bloggers here to infest and report on freethinkers. Beware – they're everywhere! (Not sarcasm)

  16. You are a real POS –some day I hope you are hungry enough to salivate over a wonderful neighbor like this having all this food and of course you being the ass hole that you are -would never ask for any of it -but they would still give it to you – neighbors used to be like-they helped and looked out for each other- until the pompous government wanted you to worship at their feet instead– you are a sad person Robbie


  18. WHAT would a HOA say?

  19. John Eidsmoe says:

    Some are surprised that conservatives and Christians give a much greater portion of their income to charity than do liberals. This makes sense, though, when we understand that the hardcore Left actually resents private charity because charity in their view is supposed to be a State function. I'm not saying all liberals feel this way (many definitely don't), but this resentment is consistent with hardcore Leftist ideology.

  20. Buffalo, NY needs an example of this woman feeding the poor on her own driveway, but she needs a business merchant license to conduct charity. Buffalo would be # 1 in charity across the Nation.

  21. As I see it the citizens of Glendale have some work to do to restore any decency they ever had by first denying these sorry excuses for human beings sitting on the city council of Glendale a jury that will carry out this injustice. Secondly they can begin to purge all council members that demanded this injustice be carried out. Failing any of the above actions on the part of Glendale citizens renders the citizenry of Glendale as equally dirty low down as the council and other city officials they elected or refused to participate in the election process. Not to act is to act. Not speak is to speak. There is no excuse any longer for the existence of this kind of govt. at any level. Had enough yet?