UPDATE: Nonprofit free speech advocacy group First Amendment Project joins newspaper ban fight.
CITY FILES “ANTI-SLAPP” MOTION AGAINST CCS
The saga of the newspaper ban continues. The most recent action came when the City, led by Mayor Sam Allevato, hired (with your tax dollars) one of the most expensive law firms in the state to argue before a judge that the majority of the council has a First Amendment right to essentially, ban the First Amendment right to free speech on city property.
On January 21, the council majority filed what is called an “anti-SLAPP motion” against the Community Common Sense (CCS). “SLAPP” stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, described by the non-profit organization First Amendment Project as follows; “The United States and California constitutions grant every person the right to participate in government and civic affairs, speak freely on public issues, and petition government officials for redress of grievances. Yet, individuals and community groups are often sued for exercising these constitutional rights. These suits are known as "SLAPPs," or "Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation."
By filing their “anti-SLAAP” motion, the council majority is arguing that the residents behind CCS are violating Councilmen Allevato, Kramer and Taylor’s right to free speech, under the theory that the council majority has a First Amendment right to violate the Brown Act by (illegally) voting on an item that was (illegally) identified on the agenda, and then (illegally) failed to report the vote in open session.