Violation of Citizens 1st Amendment Rights Places DeKalb County in National News
Violation of Citizens 1st Amendment Rights Places
DeKalb County in National News
By Viola Davis, July 11, 2016
Memorial Day gives honor to our fallen soldiers that risk their all to protect our Constitutional rights against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Who would ever guess that DeKalb County would make national news for violating one of the most important Constitutional rights of them all, the 1st Amendment (Freedom of Speech).
DeKalb County Board of Commissioners in Georgia instituted a new rule prohibiting citizens from using the names of commissioners during the public comment portion of the county meeting.
This rule carried little weight with Ruby Bozeman Davis, co-founder of the Unhappy Taxpayer and Voter ministry. Davis appeared at the May 10th Board of Commissioners meeting to speak during the public comment to simply state the board members’ names. Her first attempt to call the name of the Presiding Officer, Commissioner Larry Johnson, was met with an episode of chastisement.
The interaction was televised throughout our nation, particularly on CBS stations and made national news to include:
1. Conservative Tribune article titled, “County Leaders Get Brutal Surprise After Ordering Voter to Keep Their Names Secret” at link -http://conservativetribune.com/county-leaders-names-secret/
2. The Blaze.com article titled, “County Commissioners Prohibit Citizens From Saying Officials’ Names During Public Meetings — the New Rule Doesn’t Go Over Well” with 673 shares – http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2016/05/18/county-commissioners-prohibit-citizens-from-saying-officials-names-during-public-meetings-the-new-rule-doesnt-go-over-well/#
Taxpayer Ruby Davis told WGCL-TV, “That’s my First Amendment right of freedom of speech.”
DeKalb Co. commissioners ask for names not to be mentioned at public meeting. @MurphyCBS46 > http://bit.ly/1qsrcZ6
By Adam Murphy
Taxpayers blast #DeKalb commissioners for prohibiting them from mentioning their names during public comment.@cbs46
9:49 AM – 17 May 2016
“They forget that they’re supposed to work for the taxpayers,” Davis said. “They believe the taxpayers work for them.”
“You’re getting an ethics complaint, each of you, on violation of our freedom of speech,” said taxpayer Jerry Jackson.
During a meeting, taxpayer Jeff Long noted that “the county’s own written comment policy does not address using a commissioner’s name during public comment time.”
“If you don’t want your name mentioned during public comment time, then stop doing outrageous, offensive, illegal and, quite frankly, stupid things,” Long said.
Also during a recent meeting, taxpayer Beth Long said, “With this rule, the message that you’re sending to us the public is that you hold yourselves above our constitutional rights,” adding, “We the public are the ones who put you in those seats.”
(Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton Picture)
WGCL noted that one of the commissioners — Sharon Barnes Sutton — found a creative way to avoid hearing her name at the meeting: She arrived two hours late.
Read entire article and view the video at the link: