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The City Council Law and Legislation Committee postponed a discussion on whether there will be restrictions on the ability to hold protests on the City Hall property after the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union staged a protest and said its lawyers were closely following the issue
City Councilmen Darrell Fong and Jay Schenirer saying they wanted the language of the ordinance to be made clearer.
“I believe people should have access to City Hall,” Fong said Tuesday. “We do have some other concerns we have to address. We will meet soon and get language out there, and we will bring it back.”
The issue will be brought up again at the City Council’s Law and Legislation Committee on Aug. 9.
He did not elaborate on what the other concerns were, but the postponement came after a protest in front of City Hall by members of the American Civil Liberties Union and Occupy Sacramento opposed to the ordinance.
In an interview before the protest, local ACLU board member Cres Vellucci told the Sacramento Press in a video chat that the city has other, existing laws to deal with the issues that the council has said the ordinance was meant to address. He also said that a lawyer in the organization's San Francisco office was reviewing the ordinance and following the issue closely:
Debra Reiger, chairwoman of the Sacramento chapter of the ACLU, said she is glad to see the item postponed with an intent to adjust the language.
“The City Hall area is a public forum, and doing severe restrictions including fees for signing up ahead of time to speak at the space is a constitutional issue,” she said.
She added that the ACLU is involved with a similar ordinance in Redding, Calif., and that the ordinance there is currently under legal review.