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The State

July 09, 1986

Nonprofit groups have been banned from selling goods on the sidewalks near San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. City supervisors voted unanimously to ban the sales. Wharf merchants had threatened to strike over what they considered unfair competition from self-styled charities selling tourist kitsch outside their stores. "Cities like ours get swamped with nearly anyone who wants to sell on the streets under the guise of some charity," said Mayor Dianne Feinstein, who plans to sign the measure. "There's a real need for the state to define who is a charity." The action was aimed at 25 nonprofit groups that have certified 67 people to sell goods from sidewalk tables. American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Margaret Crosby said she will challenge the ban on behalf of any nonprofit group that asks. She argued that it is unconstitutional because it favors merchants over the nonprofit groups.

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