Thursday, March 26, 2015

L.A. Council Retaliates Against FEDERAL Judge Dean Pregerson's Ruling By Cutting Public's Time in Half

L.A. Council Retaliates Against FEDERAL Ruling By Cutting Public's Time in Half

[PICTURED: L.A. gadfly/blogger Zuma Dogg at L.A. City Council meeting during public comment]

In 2012, L.A. gadfly Zuma Dogg won a Federal ruling by Federal Judge Dean Pregerson, pertaining to Los Angeles City Council's rules for public, during public comment -- and enforcement of their rules. The judge ruled that L.A. City Council was in violation of U.S. & State law in what was called, "censorship of the public," by the judge. (And quoted Plato to describe ZD's efforts, as a gadfly.)

YouTube AUDIO: Zuma Dogg Presents The Argument

In response to the ruling (since the ruling); members of the public have been able to speak, in the spirit of the Constitution; and council may not apply their own (fake) laws, that violate REAL FEDERAL & STATE laws. So, they can't just cut people off and kick them out, if they don't like what is being said, under whatever guises they were claiming.

L.A. Council retaliated; by cutting general public comment time in half. (From 2 minutes to 1 minute.)

One minute is not a reasonable amount of time, for a typical, non-professional speaker (general member of the public) to be able to articulate a complex issue -- and provide comment on how to solve the problem/what is being asked for of council. It's a form of censorship. General public comment time, at other local government meetings (Board of Supervisors/MTA/LAUSD/DWP/Santa Monica City Council) are two or three minutes; and no general public comment time is limited to one minute.)

Additionally, it must be considered that people must take off the day; pay whatever transportation costs to get to City Hall; wait through presentations; and wait through endless runs around the horseshoe, where councilmembers try to out campaign each other, with long winded speeches, that repeat what the other previous councilmembers have already said.

General Public comment is at the end of the presentations and meeting (the public has to wait two or three hours); and council claims they are only willing to give members of the public one minute, at a public meeting, for members of the public to address issues before council -- because they are short on time. A form of censorship.

L.A. Council gives people two minutes to speak on agenda items (what COUNCIL wants to talk about), but only one minute for general comment (what YOU wanna talk about.) If council grants two minutes for agenda items, why would it be different to address other important issues of the city, not on the agenda, that day? Some issues people choose to address, occur in a timely, breaking news timeline; before it makes it to the agenda, if it ever does, at all.  If you can speak for two minutes about someone's star installation on "Hollywood Walk of Fame," why not two minutes to address city homeless crisis; or LAFD response times; or a solution for the city to be able to keep streets clear of trash and garbage; since they currently are not. Who can explain the pros and cons of the economic effects of the city's push for $15 minimum wage in a minute? 

To make someone endure an entire trip to city hall; wait through presentations and an entire meeting; to have to try and cram their issue into one minute; is more than a member of the public should have to endure. Not because two minutes is that much more than one minute in the scheme of things; but because one minute is truly not enough time to satisfactorily address most issues before a body of elected officials. Which makes the entire effort a waste of time and council's form of censorship.

I hope to present these details to Judge Pregerson. I wonder how he would feel about council retaliating against his ruling by cutting public comment time in half? Kinda combative/hostile move.

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