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Nashville councilman’s bill upsets vendors of homeless paper

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vendors of a Nashville newspaper that benefits the homeless are upset over a proposal that they say would destroy sales.

The Tennessean reports (http://tnne.ws/1M3v8t7) Metro Councilman Steve Glover is proposing a bill that would make it illegal for vendors to sell to people inside cars. That’s the main method homeless and formerly homeless vendors use to sell The Contributor.

Vendor Lula Bullock said selling The Contributor helped her after she lost her husband and home and struggled with addiction.

“It took me off the street. I got me a van to live in, and it feeds me and it keeps me from drinking alcohol,” Bullock said.

She said she wouldn’t know what to do if she weren’t allowed to sell the nonprofit newspaper.

“It means a lot to me because some people aren’t as fortunate as some people,” she said.

Contributor Co-Founder Tom Wills said vendors don’t need to panic, but they should talk to their customers about speaking in opposition to the proposed ordinance.

“We work in partnership with tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people across Nashville that buy this paper and value the fact that our vendors are out there working, and are putting their employment in their own hands,” Willis said.

Glover says he is concerned with public safety. He plans to meet with The Contributor staff members later this month to discuss his proposal.

The Metro Council is expected to hear the bill’s first reading Tuesday evening, Oct. 20, 2015.

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Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com

(Sarah Himes)

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