Sacramento has dropped a contentious plan to ban repeatedly disruptive or threatening individuals from city council meetings.
On Tuesday, council members were set to approve new “rules of procedure,” which stated that if a person had been ejected from a public meeting at least two times in a six-month period, they would be excluded from attending city council for 30 days.
The policy change comes after months of demonstrations and community engagement at meetings over the police killing of Stephon Clark.
Sacramento’s National Lawyers Guild and Black Lives Matter chapters were set to protest the proposed changes on Tuesday evening.
“The proposed regulations allowing for removal of an individual from a meeting — and even banning them from attending future meetings — in order to preserve ‘order’ or ‘decorum’ are an unlawful mechanism,” local NLG chapter president Elizabeth Kim wrote in a statement.
Officials originally had the item on council’s “consent calendar” — the section of its agenda that includes multiple items that are approved in bulk and without individual discussion. But as of Tuesday morning, the mayor’s office said the plan to ban people from meetings would not be considered.
The proposed change also would prohibit individuals who are ejected from meetings at least three times within a year, or who threaten anyone at a meeting, from attending for 90 days.
Kim says preventing individuals from attending meetings is a violation of California’s open government laws, including the Brown Act. The city’s proposed new rules, however, stated that anyone removed or expelled from council would still be allowed to submit public comment for agenda items.
Bob Moffitt contributed reporting to this story.
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