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The San Diego Police Department hopes to raise some extra cash by eliminating the exemption that allows non-profit organizations to throw fundraisers and other entertainment events without having to pay for a city permit.

To boost their argument, San Diego Police Department officials say the exemptions provided to non-profits violates state Proposition 26-- claiming that those paying for permits are subsidizing those non-profit organizations because of the need to provide police presence.

But some community non-profits disagree. One such organization, the Worldbeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park, looks to defeat that proposal.

Today, the non-profit dedicated to African African-American arts and culture posted an online petition at signon.org looking for help.

"San Diego Police Department is currently attempting to remove exemptions for Non-Profits, holding fundraisers, forcing them to pay large fees and possibly declining to approve thousands of small fundraising events a year without providing the citizens the choice to vote on the issue under false pretense of Prop 26," reads the online petition.

Makeda Cheatom, from Worldbeat, also appeared at a council hearing on December 4 and urged city councilmembers to reconsider doing away with the exemption.

"Most non-profits didn't know about this," Cheatom said. "We didn't know until we received a notice on our door on Friday [December 1]. We are struggling right now. We can't take out permits. You have to protect your non-profits that are here to serve the community."

The city council is expected to hear a revised proposal in coming weeks.

The petition currently has 88 signatures.


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