Legislation to halt roadside paper sales spurs strong reaction

The Contributor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Metro councilman wants to put new restrictions on people who sell newspapers near Nashville streets.

On Monday, people who sell The Contributor newspaper gathered to discuss the issue.

“Please take pictures of them because that helps us out. Identify who it is. You know the saying: one apple, one bad apple,” said Melinda Foster, who sells The Contributor.

Foster was addressing a comment Councilman Steve Glover gave News 2 Sunday about the motivation behind his ordinance that limits where people who are homeless can sell the paper.

Glover told News 2 the legislation isn’t targeting people who are homeless; he says it’s a longstanding safety issue.

“I had a personal experience where I almost hit someone, I don’t know what vendor they were, but after doing that, I felt like I’ve watched people walking into the streets; it’s not safe,” said Glover.

Co-founder of The Contributor Tom Wills also responded to the councilman’s remarks.

“I share those concerns and so much that we have an extensive training regimen and program. I don’t believe even councilman Glover is sure that the people he has seen on the street are even our vendors,” said Wills.

Under Councilman Glover’s ordinance, people who sell newspapers such as The Contributor cannot hand the paper to someone in a car on the street.

“Our vendors sell to the side of the road only, so one lane of traffic next to the side of the road and we don’t support vendors who sell on medians or in the middle of the road, and it’s already illegal to do so,” said Wills.

Glover told News 2 he plans to meet with The Contributor staff members to discuss the bill.

The first reading of the ordinance is set for Tuesday’s Metro Council meeting.

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