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Public Speaker Socks Santa Monica With $10 Million Lawsuit

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Image of City Hall via You Are Here
If you attend City Council meetings to keep tabs on what's going on with different developments, you know the public comment section of the meetings can be informative, emotional, and loony tunes (and sometimes all at once!). God bless America. But over in Santa Monica, the City Council has decided to essentially do away with the public comment--the open period before all items are individually discussed--and is instead asking citizens to submit their comments in writing if they can't wait till their item is called, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press. The change means that the City Council gets out of their meetings earlier, but the change has also prompted a $10 million lawsuit from a longtime gladfly. Line up the lawyers! "Pro Se, a regular at City Council meetings who is confined to a wheelchair, objected to the new meeting format because the change meant there is no longer a public comment period at the beginning reserved for disabled members of the public who wish to address the council... It's a change that Pro Se, a frequent critic of the council and City Hall, said was a constitutional violation that amounts to discrimination against the disabled.

By doing away with the early public comment period for those in need of special accommodations, he said the council was in effect denying the disabled an equal right to participate in democracy." The City Council is dismissive of the suit, according to the paper.
· Gadfly demands $10M from City Hall for discrimination [Santa Monica Daily Press]