City hassles woman for feeding the needy
Mon, 07 Jan 2013 - 4:34 PM CST
The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of an Arizona woman who has been cited for using her property to share free food with the hungry as a means of exercising her Christian beliefs.
Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute intervened after an enforcement officer with the City of Glendale allegedly informed Millie Ramirez that she would be considered a criminal if she continued to use the driveway of her private residence to distribute free food. 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.
Glendale officials insist that Ramirez is violating the 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." The Rutherford Institute responded that such action violates Ramirez's 14th Amendment due process rights and warned the city about legal action.
The religious liberties organization says Ramirez has been subjected to repeated harassment by city officials, who have issued "compliance notices" stating that she is in violation of Glendale's storage ordinances.
Those provisions are expressly limited to indefinite storage of material goods, and don't apply to Ramirez' temporary use of items for the specific purpose of feeding the hungry, according to The Rutherford Institute.
Author: Pentecostal Evangel