Merry Christmas everyone! Except to little 11-year-old Madison Root who decided to sell some beautifully packaged bundles of mistletoe at Portland Market and was told by security guards that she wasn’t allowed to. Because of a city ordinance that bans commerce like that without proper approval. Never mind the fact that begging for money is a-ok, and that the security guards suggested she do just that instead. From KATU.com:
You can buy whistles, order crepes and sign a marijuana petition all without walking more than ten steps.
But you can’t open a business without going through the market’s formal application process. The market sets rules for vendors which Madison agrees make sense.
Begging is different.
That’s a form of free speech, protected under the First Amendment, explains Mark Ross, spokesman for the Portland Parks Bureau, which manages the city park and rents it to the Saturday Market.
The guard, hired by the market from a private security firm, told Madison she could sell her products on city sidewalk outside the park’s boundaries or simply ask people for donations for her braces.
“I don’t want to beg! I would rather work for something than beg,” said Madison.
“It’s crazy. People can get money for pot. But I can’t get money for braces. I’m working for this! They’re just sitting down on their butts all day asking for pot.”
Madison had chopped down all the mistletoe from her uncle’s farm and wrapped it all pretty to sell because she wanted to help her parents pay for her braces. After being told by security she couldn’t sell her mistletoe she plans on returning on December 14 to have what she calls “The Great Kissoff” where people can donate to her braces fund and she is preparing a speech about how she feels “working for something” is better than begging. After this report was on the news one of the latest Christmas tree farms in the area donated 1,000 dollars towards Madison’s braces. I love how irate she is in this video:
It seems to me that kids should be exempt from this law. Can’t they partner with local business people with a proposal where they show what they intend to create to raise money and be allowed to become little entrepreneurs or something? I think this idea is so charming and it’s awesome she wanted to help fund her own dental work. The fact that begging for drug money is OK and selling a holiday item is not is pretty disgusting to me. Nice lesson to teach the kids there, Portland.
(Image: KATU Video)