Televised public comment

Channel surfing the cable tv tonight, I turned over to the Los Angeles City Council Public Comment and caught a fabulous piece.

During my stint in local government, it was my dream to get Council meetings podcasted. That way it would make Council and their decisions more accessible to those spread out across our large municipality. In California, they’ve taken that to a whole new level and televise it, and it really is another form of entertainment.

Each member of the public is given 2 minutes to address the Council when it opens for comment and in the few minutes I’ve been watching, I’ve seen some doozies.

1. A guy in a grey hoodie stated that his concern was with the prevailing winds. He painted a picture of WWII and Japanese hydrogen bombs setting fire to California’s countryside. He then said that he was concerned with radiation contamination coming from Japan and specifically for the 25,000 runners in this weekend’s LA Marathon. He wanted the runners to be informed that they could be exposed to radiation falling from the sky and that they could make their minds up whether to participate or pull out. According to this guy, going from your car to the shopping mall doesn’t pose as much risk as “2 – 4 hours” running.

2. A woman came up to the lectern and started on a tirade about the derogatory portrayal and stereo-typing of Latinas. She had a brain and wanted “to use every morsel of it”. She also had bleached blonde hair and was wearing a sequined tiger-striped cap. She then thanked the navy and all the pilots for being upstanding humans.

Thankfully, the Council isn’t obliged to respond at that point in time, and the next person in line is called to the microphone.

Just some fun Friday night watching and another thing that makes me feel relieved to be out of local government.


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