His Excellency Mr.

Kim Jong-un

ID: LFG-2016-0044

Supreme Leader, Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea
Pyongyang
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Sent via: Mail
September 22nd, 2016
Re: Situation in the City of Fort Worth as to their criminalization of individuals in poverty
His Excellency Mr. Kim Jong-un,
My name is Isaiah X. Smith and I am sending you this letter out of concern as to many discriminatory and
“unlawful” laws that some “state governmental bodies” in the United States of America are enacting
and enforcing against individuals that are in poverty.
Many municipal governmental bodies in the United States of America criminalize homeless individuals
based upon their indigent economic status. For instance, the City of Fort Worth criminalizes individuals
who are homeless by enacting and enforcing city laws (ordinances) that criminalize begging, loitering,
sleeping, eating, and et cetera. Such laws are unfair, discriminatory, unconstitutional and are violations
as to provisions that are listed in international law. Here is why I believe so:
Anti-panhandling laws are a form of content based discriminatory speech bans
I believe that the City of Fort Worth's anti-homeless policies are unconstitutional for a various number
of reasons. Some of the city’s anti-homeless policies include anti-panhandling, (also known as) antibegging laws. A copy of a City of Fort Worth anti-begging brochure can be seen in Exhibit A. I believe
that Laws that prohibit the poor from panhandling punishes them due to their status that they are in
and their lack of economic resources. Anti-panhandling laws are unconstitutional because I believe
"begging, or the soliciting of alms, is a form of solicitation that the First Amendment protects." See Speet
v. Schuette, 726 F.3d 867, 878 (6th Cit. 2013); see also Loper v. New York City Police Department, 999
F.3d 699, 706 (Second Circuit. 1993).
I believe that “municipal” governmental bodies that create ordinances that ban the poor from begging
are due to the content as to the individual’s speech, which is unconstitutional. The government of the
United States of America is not allowed to regulate speech based on its content, which means it cannot
criminalize begging while allowing similar sorts of speech to occur. See Police Department of Chicago v.
Mosley, 408 U.S. 92, 95-96 (1972). Nevertheless, the City of Fort Worth’s regulation of speech that the
indigent are involved in “draws distinctions based on the message a speaker conveys" and that is again

content based speech restrictions that are unconstitutional. See Reed v. Town of Gilbert, 135 S. Ct.
2218, 2227 (2015).
Anti-loitering laws violate the rights of the indigent
Many municipal cities, including the City of Fort Worth, enacts and enforces anti-loitering ordinances
that aim to target individuals who live outside and or on the streets. Often ordinances that aim to ban
indigent individuals from loitering have vague and overboard language in which violates the
“substantive due process” rights of the indigent. The Supreme Court of the United States of America has
on many occasions found that to be true in which they have overturned multiple municipal city
ordinances from different cities that sought to ban homeless individuals from gathering in public.
All individuals in the City of Fort Worth have a right to travel, move, explore, and be present in and on
public streets and sidewalks, in which those are rights that are “historically part of the amenities of life
as we have known them.” See Papachristou v. City of Jacksonville, 405 U.S. 156, 164 (1972). Homeless
individuals have a “liberty interest” as to remaining in a public space of their choice. By officials with the
City of Fort Worth enacting and enforcing laws that restrict the movement of homeless individuals,
officials with the municipal government are interfering with the liberty interest of homeless individuals.
See Kennedy v. City of Cincinnati, 595 F.3d 327, 336 (6th Cir. 2010) (“[I]t is clear that Kennedy had a
liberty interest ‘to remain in a public place of his choice’ and that defendants interfered with this
interest.”).
As I have stated before, the United States Supreme Court has regularly struck down laws that prohibited
loitering. In City of Chicago v. Morales, 527 U.S. 41, 47 (1999), the United States Supreme Court struck
down a law that prohibited “loitering” or “remain[ing] in any one place with no apparent purpose” in a
public place, with a “criminal street gang membe[r]” after being ordered to disperse by an official with
the police. In Kolender v. Lawson, 461 U.S. 352, 353 (1983), the Supreme Court of the United States of
America struck down a “criminal statute that requires persons who loiter or wander on the streets to
provide a ‘credible and reliable’ identification and to account for their presence when requested by a
peace officer.”
Even though it should be clear that anti-loitering ordinances are unconstitutional, the City of Fort Worth
has failed to decriminalize the unlawful restraint as to homeless individuals wanting to move as in
conjunction with their liberty interests.
Anti-camping laws are unnecessary and violate the rights of the indigent
Many municipal cities, including the City of Fort Worth, lack adequate shelter space for individuals that
need a residence. Despite the lack of resources that many homeless Americans have, a lot of them are
left with no alternative other than to sleep and live in public spaces. Even though this is true, some
municipal cities still choose to “criminalize” homeless individuals that have to live on the streets when
they have no place to go. I believe that is an Eight Amendment violation because the Eighth Amendment
to the Constitution of the United States of America “imposes substantive limits on what can be made
criminal and punished as such.” See Ingraham v. Wright, 430 U.S. 651, 667-68 (1977).It is very cruel and

unusual for the government to criminalize homeless individuals that are involved in life-sustaining
activities in public because they have no choice but to.
Those laws I believe have the intent as to criminalizing homeless individuals due to their status as a
homeless person. Laws that criminalize an indigent individual's status, rather than specific conduct, are
unconstitutional. See Robinson v. California, 370 U.S. 660 (1962).
The criminalization of the homeless violates provisions in international law
As you may already know, international law prohibits governments from criminalizing poverty. For
instance, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which the United States of America is a
signatory, states:
“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself
and of his family, including food, clothing, and housing and medical care and necessary social
services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability,
widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”
While many international laws that the United States of America is a signatory, the international treaties
are often not directly enforceable in U.S. courts (i.e., “self-executing”). Regardless as to whether or not
an international treat that the United States of America is "self-executing" or not, once a country signs a
treaty they are obligated not to pass laws that would “defeat the object and purpose of [the] treaty.”
Many homeless individuals want to freely engage in the freedom of movement, in which often
municipal cities violate that right in their attempt as to dealing with those who are in poverty.
Internationally signed treated are supposed to protect the right as to freedom of movement for all, such
as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United Nations Human Rights Committee
oversees that international treaty, and they have stated that the right to movement and the freedom to
choose your own residence are important rights that should only be breached by the least intrusive
means necessary to keep public order.
Conclusion
I hope that you understand that state laws in the United States of America that criminalize begging or
performing life-sustaining activities in public, such as sleeping and sitting, target homeless individuals on
the basis as to their economic and housing status. Therefore I urge the government of the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea to:
1. Urge the United States of America at the United Nations Human Rights Council to stop
criminalizing individuals because they are in poverty;
2. Urge the United States of America at the United Nations Human Rights Council to stop
shielding themselves from the direct enforcement of international human rights laws or
from failing to abide by the Constitution of the United States of America as to respecting the
rights of the homeless and individuals that are in poverty;

3. Urge the United States of America to invest in educating and housing homeless and
individuals that live in poverty rather than making their status criminal;
4. Urge the City of Fort Worth to repeal all ordinances that prohibit homeless individuals from
panhandling (begging), loitering, sleeping, eating, and all other ordinances and policies that
criminalize those that are in poverty;
5. Stand up for the rights of individuals that are homeless and that live in poverty in the United
States of America at the United Nations Human Rights Council;
6. Reestablish a diplomatic channel with the United States of America.

Respectfully,
Isaiah X. Smith
Isaiah Smith Campaign
P.O Box 163411
Fort Worth, Texas, 76161
www.isaiahxsmith.com

EXHIBIT A

City of Fort Worth and Tarrant County services for those in need…
Immediate aid is available through many social service agencies and organizations in the City of Fort Worth. There is help for those that
want it and will accept it. Our shelters and local organizations provide meals, shelter, health care, alcohol and drug dependency care and
employment counseling.
First Street Methodist Mission…………….817-335-6080

Day Shelter

801 W. 1st St., FW 76102
Day Resource Center for the Homeless…817-810-9797
Presbyterian Night Shelter………………….817-632-7401
1415 E. Lancaster Ave., FW 76102
2401 Cypress St., FW 76102

Emergency Night Shelters

The Salvation Army………………………….817-344-1800

Presbyterian Night Shelter…..Men/Women 817-632-7401
2400/2401 Cypress St.

Families 817-632-7429

FW 76102

1855 E. Lancaster Av., FW 76103

Begging
“Panhandling”

Union Gospel Mission……………………….817-339-2553
1321 E. Lancaster Av., FW 76102

Union Gospel Mission…………………Men 817-332-3019
1321 E. Lancaster Av.

Women 817-338-8418

FW 76102

Families 817-332-6908

The Salvation Army…………………………..817-344-1801

Saint Benedict’s Mission…………………….817-348-9960
2320 Cypress St., FW 76102
TCHC Homeless Helpline……………………817-996-8800
United Way of Tarrant County……………….211

1855 E. Lancaster Av., FW 76103

Give to organizations that
can really help me and it
could save my life.

ACH Child and Family Services-Youth Shelter
3712 Wichita St., FW 76119

Give me money and I may
never get off the streets.

It’s up to you.

817-335-HOPE

SafeHaven of Tarrant County
24 Hour Domestic Violence Hotline…………877-701-7233
Arlington Life Shelter………………………….817-548-9885
325 W. Division St., Arlington 76011

Prepared Meals
Beautiful Feet Soup Kitchen………………...817-536-0505
1709 E. Hattie St., FW 76104
Broadway Baptist Church…………………...817-336-5761

Giving money to beggars and
Fort Worth Police Department
505 W. Felix Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76115
www.fortworthpd.com

305 W. Broadway Av., FW 76104

Non-Emergency 817-335-4222

panhandlers can be dangerous and is
not the best way to help these
individuals.
Donate your money to organizations
that provide services to the homeless
and those in need.

Begging or Panhandling
Is a Violation

Personal Safety First: What To

“Panhandlers spend much of

Do If You Are Approached

their money on alcohol, drugs

If you are approached by a panhandler on foot:

and tobacco, although some

1.

Your personal safety is the top priority.

money does go toward food,

organizations work daily to provide necessary

2.

Walk with confidence, these are your streets too.

services for homeless individuals in our city.

3.

Know who is around you, what they are doing

The Fort Worth Police Department, City of Fort
Worth and many local agencies and

4.

as “panhandling”, is violating Fort Worth
city ordinances.

BEGGING.

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services

If a stranger approaches you, keep some
distance in order to react to a threat.

5.

Chapter 30 Article 1 Sec. 30-16
LOITERING FOR PURPOSE OF

U.S. Department of Justice

and where you are.

An individual who is loitering for the
purpose of begging, commonly referred to

transportation and toiletries.”

Never open your wallet or purse to accommodate
a request for money.

6.

Politely and firmly say “No” or “I don’t have cash.”

7.

If a panhandler becomes aggressive or if you feel

Things to consider:

immediate need.

threatened, call 911 immediately.

It shall be unlawful for any person to loiter,

Panhandling for some, is a profitable business, not an

Panhandlers may not have a meal, gas money or shelter
on their minds.

remain or wander about in a public place

If you are approached by a panhandler while you

for the purpose of begging. As used in this

are in your vehicle:

section, BEGGING means the solicitation

1.

Your personal safety is the top priority.

2.

Never lower your window and give a stranger

Where Your Money And Time Makes A

access to the interior of your vehicle.

Difference:

of money or other valuable consideration
from another person without giving
consideration in return.

3.

Remember your movement may be limited if you

(1964 Code, § 27-49) (Ord. 7211, § 1,

have to respond to a threat from inside your

passed 8-11-1975)

vehicle.

Aggressive begging or panhandling

4.

should not be tolerated and can create a
dangerous situation. Your personal
safety should always come first when you
are approached by a panhandler.

5.

Your money may be used to support and enable
destructive habits and dependencies.

Donate money to organizations dedicated to caring
for the homeless and those in need. You can also
volunteer your time to aid these organizations.

Make eye contact, the panhandler needs to know

Many of our local service providers need financial

you are watching them. Do not turn your head

donations and the time of volunteers to provide

away or put your head down.

essential services to those in need.

Shake your head “No”, but pay attention until you

Call any of the organizations listed to learn about

are able to leave the location.

the many ways you can help.