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Some Herndon Residents Want Repeal Of Pedestrian Solicitation Policy

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Some residents of Herndon, Va., say it's time for the town council to rescind a policy that prohibits pedestrians from soliciting work or selling goods on major roadways. Those residents say the policy unfairly targets immigrant day laborers.

Bolivia native Nancy Ramirez moved to Herndon about six years ago. She says she moved to the town because it seemed like a well-run city and a nice place to live. But Ramirez, who's an American citizen, says Herndon's new policy has made her feel like an outcast in her own town.

"We can't go out to the street because people are staring at us, looking at us," Ramirez says, through a translator.

Ramirez joined other Herndon residents and members of a group called Virginia New Majority Tuesday morning to call for newly elected town council members to throw out the policy, which was instituted in June.

The council discussed the issue Tuesday night in a closed-door session. Virginia New Majority's Rishi Awatramani says the town council has remained silent on the issue since the election.

"This new town council came in promising to change. And we supported them, and we still support them, but what's crucial is we need them to now show why they got elected," Awatramani says.

But some longtime residents, such as Bill Campenni, say the policy is really about traffic safety. He says most people in Herndon have sympathy for day laborers looking for work.

"And they can do it, believe it or not," Campenni says. "They can do it on most streets in Herndon. The restrictions only apply on major streets where parking is not allowed."

Campenni says the current policy is doing it's job, though no one has been cited under it so far.

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