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Update

The following text was added to the letter and distributed at the January 24th Santa Cruz City Council meeting. Mathews has still not responded to any of the questions raised in the letter.

Mayor Mathews : Let the Public Speak at City Council

At the January 10th City Council meeting, Santa Cruz Mayor Cynthia Mathews again cut Oral Communications time to 2 minutes per speaker instead of allowing the usual 3 minutes, for which some members of the public had specifically prepared. The Board of Supervisors allows all members of the public who choose to speak for three minutes (though the overflow may have to wait until the end of the meeting).
Instead of extending time to accommodate the unprecedented public concern with her police department's unconstitutional surveillance activities, Mathews interrupted and castigated a principal speaker--Rico Thunder. Though it was she that was disrupting the public process, Mathews--the unofficial "minutes" of the meeting now imply it was Thunder who was "disrupting"the meeting. Past mayors have used an expansive and capricious definition of "disruption" to threaten, silence, exclude, arrest, and even prosecute dissenting speakers.
Civil rights advocate Robert Norse goes to criminal trial 8:30 AM Tuesday February 21st for "disruption" and "resisting arrest" (because he stood at the microphone waiting for his two minutes of speaking time). He faces a possible 1 1/2 years in jail and $1500 fine if convicted.
In March, he will be taking City Council to federal trial in San Jose for a pattern of repression, seeking damages and an injunction. Contact him at 831-423-4833 to join the lawsuit.
For updates see: santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/13163/index.php
An earlier incident: santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/17064/index.php
On January 10th Mathews ignored a unanimous motion passed by the Council allowing three final speakers to talk, cutting off homeless vehicle dweller Michael Tomasi without explanation or apology. Her statement to Tomasi that he had spoken the meeting before was irrelevant, since the Brown Act provides that every meeting begins anew; also the Council had specifically authorized Tomasi to speak. As the letter below shows, Mathews has specifically discriminated against Tomasi in the past.
Mathews was sent the following letter after similar repressive action at the December 13th City Council meeting. She has so far (1-24) made no response. Her office phone is 831-423-5026.

[text of letter from HUFF, HRO, Housing Now! in Santa Cruz, & SAFE follows in the flier]
 


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