Murrieta Ban on Clapping Coming under Fire
No claps for you!
Other ruckus demonstrations during public comment and business items are also banned currently.
In a story that seems about one step away from Kevin Bacon’s Footloose, the City of Murrieta’s decorum policy for public comment is facing some heavy criticism.
In lieu of ‘demonstrations’ like whistling, stomping of the feet, and yelling, audience members are currently asked to raise a hand for agreement and show thumbs-down for disagreement.
How are folks supposed to give the council a good tongue-lashing when rent control meetings get out of hand or when the routine change of mayoral seat gets interrupted with a power grab? It could happen in your town!
Free speech advocate Vivian Moreno spoke out against the policy at a recent council meeting. In asking for the policy to be amended to facilitate a little life from the chamber audience, she also threatened a lawsuit to follow.
Other Inland Empire cities have had similar issues too. Hemet has a very similar policy and in 2013, Riverside removed an allegedly disruptive resident and it wound up costing them $50,000 in a settlement.
More on the crusade for clapping can be found here.