Random Letters: Angelinos Reject LA City Council Criminalization of Free Speech & Political Dissent; RE: Midterms; Overwhelming Support for MHF to be Eliminated

  • 09/25/2018
  • Reporters Desk

Angelinos Reject LA City Council Criminalization of Free Speech and Political Dissent   

On Tuesday, September 18th, the Los Angeles City Council will be voting on a motion to adopt changes to the procedural rules of council meetings as it pertains to public comments.  Disguised as “Rules on disruption” the city council will place a gag order and punish Angelenos by banning them from attending city council and/or committee meetings for one, three, or six business days — effectively banning them in advance of any potential public comment regardless of behavior.

“It is ironic that while people across the United States observe the 231st anniversary of ‘Constitution Day,’ the adoption of US constitution on September 17, 1787, the fifteen-member Los Angeles City Council, representing over four million residents, is in the process of rulemaking that would strip people of their basic constitutional rights,” says Hamid Khan.

The City of Los Angeles has a long history of silencing those who speak out against city hall corruption and its failure to meaningfully address grievances.  In this latest assault on civic engagement, the city is pre-emptively denying Angelenos their constitutional rights.

“Without a trial or any judicial review, regardless of any past violations, it would impose an unlawful gag order denying in advance their constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and the right to petition their government for redress of grievances,” said Stephen Rhode, a civil liberties lawyer and author of American Words of Freedom and Freedom of Assembly.  “The proposed ordinance clearly runs afoul of one of the oldest forms of government censorship – the prohibition of speech before it is even uttered,” Rhode said.

Angelenos reject the denial of their constitutional right to political expression, free speech, and right to dissent.  Los Angeles should be a leader in protecting free speech and not criminalizing it.

Hamid Khan

Los Angeles

RE: All Out for the Mid-terms

I agree with Peter Olney and Rand Wilson on voting for Democrats in Congress regardless if they’re not as progressive as you’d prefer. The state legislature, on the other hand, is a horse of whole different color.

Democrats already have huge majorities in both houses yet can’t pass anything substantial. If there’s a Green or independent candidate who supports SB 562, vote for him/her.The ultimate goal is to get progressive legislation passed.

Steve Varalyay


Overwhelming Support for MHF to be eliminated

The Torrance Refinery Action Alliance is dismayed to see the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) leaning towards HF mitigation only, despite acknowledging, “A large release of MHF from acid settlers could be potentially catastrophic.”  At the end of the AQMD Sept. 6 briefing, staff suggests that a “potential long-term phase out” by 2031 might be considered.  This would allow the use of deadly MHF alkylation to continue for another 13 years, putting the lives of hundreds of thousands at risk of serious injury, including death, upon accidental release.

The communities surrounding the Torrance and Valero, Wilmington Refinery have spoken loud and clear, the risks that MHF pose are not acceptable and must be eliminated.

Additionally, over 12,000 people have signed a petition to eliminate MHF in the South Bay and hundreds of concerned residents have written to the SCAQMD asking that MHF be eliminated within four years.

Partial list of MHF elimination supporters:

County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, City of Carson, City of Redondo Beach, City of Hermosa Beach, City of Manhattan Beach, City of Torrance Council members Tim Goodrich and Kurt Weideman,

Attorney General Xavier Becerra, State of California Department of Justice, Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi, Assembly Member Richard Bloom,  Assembly Member Mark Stone, Assembly Member Anthony Rendon, Assembly Member David Hadley, Rep. Ted Lieu,  Rep. Nanette Barragan, Rep. Maxine Waters, State Senator Kevin de León, Senator Scott Wiener, Torrance Teachers Association, Harbor City Neighborhood Council, Harbor Gateway North Neighborhood Council, Wilmington Neighborhood Council, San Pedro Democratic Club, Teamsters Local Union No.986, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 721, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Sierra Club , Communities for a Better Environment, Coalition for a Safe Environment, California Kids IQA, Wilmington Community Dreams, Wilmington, San Pedro & Peninsula Homeowners Coalition, Wilmington Improvement Network

Dr. Sally Hayati

Los Angeles

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