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San Francisco to join list of those banning cashless stores

Christian Fernsby |
San Francisco is about to require brick-and-mortar retailers to take cash as payment, joining Philadelphia and New Jersey in banning a growing paperless practice that critics say discriminates against low-income people who may not have access to credit cards.

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The San Francisco Board of Supervisors was set to take up the issue at a meeting Tuesday, and it was likely to pass because nearly all 11 members were listed as sponsors or co-sponsors.

“I just felt it wasn’t fair that if someone wanted to buy a sandwich in a store, and they had cash, that they would be turned away,” said Supervisor Vallie Brown, who introduced the legislation. “We also have our homeless population. They’re not banked.”

In many ways, the legislation is an easy call for San Francisco officials, who strive to make life more equitable in a city with an enormous wealth gap.


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