Kalamazoo, Michigan business owners are furious after city leaders voted to decriminalize public urination, defecation and littering among other offenses, all under the guise of “equitable changes.”
Becky Bil and Cherri Emery spoke with “Fox & Friends First” host Todd Piro on Thursday, relaying their concerns about the devastating impacts that could result.
“I don’t have a horrible time outside my shop particularly… but my neighbor has had human feces outside his door,” Bil said. The Pop City Popcorn co-owner also stressed her neighboring store owner’s struggle with an increase in littering, a struggle she says continues despite ambassadors coming to the area to help clean up.
Emery, who owns a chocolate and coffee shop in Kalamazoo, said she witnessed the consequences of lenient city leaders firsthand, however.
“One day, we kept smelling something in the back of the store… and it was human feces,” she said.
“I called my landlord and nobody would do anything about it. This is before we had ambassadors… so I had to clean it up myself.”
Bil shared that the city recently installed an approximately $100,000 fully furnished restroom near the Kalamazoo Mall – which houses Bil’s and Emery’s businesses – to help curb urine and feces on the streets. She adds, however, that the new bathroom is often locked.
“I don’t know how effective it is if no one can actually use it,” she said.
Emery described some hardships her employees have faced on their way to and from work.
“It’s not just the urination part of it. The part of it that’s really upsetting to us is people approaching other people, people following some of their employees to their cars and asking them for money, and when they get to the car, and they’re still not giving them money, we had one guy that started throwing rocks at their cars…” she said.