Censorship or Crowd Control at City Council



On Sept.7, 2018 Councilman Herb Wesson, Mitchell England and Nury Martinez submitted the following motion for consideration on Sept 18 which was then moved to Sept. 25th and finally successfully voted on Oct. 2nd:

"I MOVE, pursuant to Rule 77, that the Council adopt the following changes to the Rules of the Los Angeles City Council.

Council Rule 7: Add the following as a separate paragraph to the end of Rule 7:

“A member of the public who disrupts and is removed from a Council or committee meeting shall be excluded from attending all Council and committee meetings for the remainder of that day. A member of the public who disrupts and is removed from a Council or committee meeting and who then disrupts and is removed from a Council or committee meeting on any of the next 3 business days shall be excluded from attending all Council and committee meetings for the remainder of that day and the following 3 business days. A member of the public excluded for the remainder of a day and the following 3 business days who then disrupts and is removed from a Council or committee meeting on any of the next 3 business days shall be excluded from attending all Council and committee meetings for the remainder of that day and the following 6 business days. A business day is every calendar day on which a Council and or committee meeting is held. ”

Council Rule 63: Add the following as a separate paragraph to the end of Rule 63:

“A  member  of the public who disrupts and is removed from a committee meeting shall be excluded from attending committee and/or Council meetings as provided in Rule 7. ”

Oct18Wesson
The Editor of the Neighborhood News has been a longtime observer of Councilman Wesson, having attended many community meetings he has appeared in as well as engaging in discussions. He is famously uncomfortable with any criticism (the unfortunate part of being a community representative) or confrontation, often surrounded by aides like a protective cloak.  He tends to avoid putting hmself in situations where this might happen or will lash out if he feels he needs to.

For example.... when previous Mayor Richard Riordan came to public comments at City Hall to present an argument opposing a cause Wesson (who had become the City Council President) supported,  the following interaction became a headliner in local news sources:


From KPCC November 12 2012

"Initially, it seemed Richard Riordan would receive the deference usually afforded former mayors at Los Angeles City Hall.

'I’d like to call up Richard Riordan first,' City Council President Herb Wesson announced from his perch at a desk atop a platform inside council chambers on Tuesday.

Riordan, 82, who served for eight years as mayor in the 1990’s, approached the podium for a rare appearance.

'Two minutes Mr. Mayor,' Wesson said curtly.

'Wait, I have an hour and an half,' Riordan joked.  The council president was in no mood: “Not by my watch.”

Wesson and his colleagues heard the former Republican mayor oppose their plan to raise the city’s sales tax (the council later voted 11-4 to place it on the ballot).  Then they heard Riordan predict disaster if voters reject his plan to overhaul the pension system.

'The results, unfortunately, will be the dirty word bankruptcy,' he warned.

Wesson, who opposes Riordan’s pension plan, appeared to have had enough of him.

'Ya know what Mr. Mayor, why didn’t you fix it when you were mayor?'  Wesson said.

Riordan tried to respond, but his two minutes were up.

'Oh no, there’s no back and forth,' Wesson said. 'I get the last word.'

Wesson really dislikes criticism and loves to get the last word. The main and very critical problem with the motion he introduced on Sept. 7th allowing him to control the conversation during public comments at City Hall...is that it does not identify what constitutes disruption. So Wesson can effectively evict anyone who harshly questions or sharply criticizes him or another Councilmember.

In fact, according to a follow up report by Daniel Guss from Citywatch, shortly after the council passed the motion, the meeting was disrupted by a group of City Hall employees demanding the return of the Mayor's campaign travels in order to deal with the typhoid problem here. A worthy complaint but their loud disruption of the City Council meeting was met with accomodation by Wesson....  
  

City Council Shoots Self in Foot Trying to Kill Free Speech


On  Oct. 2. the Council voted Yes with one abstention from Paul Koretz, effectively giving Councilman Wesson ultimate censorship authority over public comments. But there may be some serious push back. This effort may violate the Constitution and open up the city to multiple lawsuts.
CORRECTION  This vote did not pass. From 

 Oct 4 Wesson’s Cowardly Withdrawal - What Say You, Erwin Chemerinsky

"But on Tuesday it died an embarrassing death. Or as they say in the fraudulent parlance of the LA’s “No Kill” animal shelters, it was quietly euthanized. The Motion was “received and filed,” meaning that it was already succeeded by another deeply flawed Motion. But it was dead nonetheless."

@THE GUSS REPORT
Here are several excellent articles regarding this troubling issue of censorship, written by Daniel Guss 
The following is reprinted with permission from Citywatch.org.

City Council Shoots Self in Foot Trying to Kill Free Speech

UPDATE Oct 4 Wesson’s Cowardly Withdrawal - What Say You, Erwin Chemerinsky?

Uh-oh:  Councilmember Admits Vulgarities, Personal Attacks are Free Speech

Why City Council’s Vindictive Bill (of Attainder) May be Costly

City Hall Digs Deeper Ditch for its First Amendment Troubles

A Major Blunder in LA City Hall’s Attempt to Ban Critics

 

 

 

 







Share

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Categories

Today224
Yesterday202
Week426
Month4889
All388517

Currently are 79 guests and no members online


Kubik-Rubik Joomla! Extensions

About Us

Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

Contact Us

Author
Dianne V. Lawrence
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.