The video is about an hour and a half long (I missed the first 5 minutes)
In this meeting, there was discussions about ticketing people who are not sitting in the correct place on the sidewalk.
A businessman who was welcoming some out of out of town associates reported; that they were hassled and bothered by panhandlers and wouldn't want to come back. (?)
The ACLU spokes-lady then spoke in return, stating all the out of town business folks crowd the sidewalks with suit cases and groups unloading cars (double parked) making traveling on the sidewalk difficult. It was a nice counter point to show how they too need to be polite and share the sidewalks.
Some stats were read by the police on the number of citations and warnings, details were discussed.
The committee asked that weather information could be documented (included) on the ticket report.
It seemed to me that the most ticket writers were police on bikes and the horses.
Near the last half of the meeting a lady from copwatch raised her hand to comment and was told by Commissioner Fritz that "since she didn't want to 'join' the group she would have to wait till the very end for public comment part". It was rather brash and harsh to me (and unnecessary) The ACLU spokes-lady then spoke next (raising her hand to comment) stating "she was very disturbed by the fact that a person who could not 'join' this sidewalk committee due to who knows why, maybe it was their groups bylaws stating they couldn't join other groups or maybe they didn't want to be known as committee associates etc..,but couldnt comment?
She continued, no matter why they couldn't join, the fact that the 'sidewalk committee' wouldn't let her speak was unfair and wrong and needed to be addressed at the next meeting.
To me it seemed that Amanda Fritz didn't want the Copwatch member to have an value in the conversation and that she could have the "token" public comment time to speak at the very end.
To me this whole system seems to be:
The city, police, PBA (business) all have their own agendas and pre-set outcomes fixed.
The meeting therefore is the public and rights advocates scrambling for tid-bits or justice.
The meeting is the place where, as a 'token' you get to mention your concerns.
My point is that in spite of what he community wants ....the city is moving their position forward and foremost, all the while claiming the citizen has input by speaking at this (these) meetings.
A good example of this is regarding the high content alcohol ban that the city is now ram-rod-ing into a law, in spite of very little support. (or any good logic) The trial to ban the stronger drinks was not accepted by most of the stores, the ACLU and other rights groups are not liking the spin, etc. But the police are, and so is the commissioner!
Well guess who will get their way....?
And the public will get their 'token involvement' by being able to "talk about it" at the next meeting. To get the feeling on how this is pushed along (regardless of public input) check Commissioner Fritz's website on the alcohol ban here: http://www.portlandonline.com/fritz/
This same kind of routing their own agenda is evident in this whole seriously flawed sidewalk sit lie law that was passed as law by the Portland City Council. The public and just about all the testimony spoken before it was enacted was "against this sit lie law" ... .YET (!) the city (and the PBA of course) and with Commissioner Fritz leading, decided they were going to make the 6 - 8 zone regardless. It is now law in spite of all the testimony to not do it, from ACLU, Human Rights Commission, Homeless advocate, citizens, Mental health, Churches... .
THEY DID IT ANYWAY... (????)
So we now get the "token conversation latter on the first Monday" and all those that violate the sitting on the sidewalk law get a night in jail. One man has already spent a weekend in jail over this inept law.
Council voted wrong on this ... . in spite of testimony against this by the citizens of Portland. (sse past videos from the vote)
part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvX9ZgkOruw
part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wUX4MF0fMI
part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olJYuQgNp2g
MY OPINION VIDEO
(outside the meeting) after the wrong decision was voted for by council.
Now we all get to go to the meeting and ask questions ...Great! (not to Fail to mention) but ideas and requests do seem to get the ear of officials in the room, and the councilmember (Fritz) does seem to listen to the requests, and some are in fact honored or adjustments are made and ideas formed here at this meeting, so there is some good and some worthiness to this meeting.
I just feel beside the adjustments the Portland Business Alliance and the City and the Police already have the major ground rules... And the citizens all now have a 'say in tweaking the small points' Which makes me feel like we lost the good fight and the city is letting us vent a little or cry on their shoulder about our citizen concerns, but they are still doing it "their way".... check the MY OPINION VIDEO for more on why I feel they (city) are not listening in the first place.