Mossback's Northwest

When Being Poor in Seattle Was a Criminal Offense

10/30/2018 | 3m

In 1872, Seattle council passed Ordinance 32 that outlined punishment for vagrants — the idle, dissolute, immoral, profligate, or the unemployed — by specifying that they could be put to work. Many offenses earned a sentence on the chain gang: Swearing, drunkenness, illegal gambling, patronizing prostitutes. But for many, the only offense was being poor.

Aired: 10/30/18

Rating: NR

Video has closed captioning.

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