Protestors Plan "People's Filibuster" At County Commission Meeting
February 22, 2019
A peaceful protest is being planned for Monday’s meeting of the Livingston County Board of Commissioners.
Jordan Genso, a Brighton resident who helped organize a campaign which resulted in the county commission recording their meetings, is inviting residents to come to Monday’s meeting of the board for what he is calling a “People’s Filibuster” to express opposition to the decision to stop doing so. The county commission had been recording their Monday night full board meetings and posting them online, beginning in September 2017, but a 2-1 subcommittee vote in November 2018 ended the practice. Genso says it is, “embarrassing” that the county government has chosen to become “less transparent” so he and others will use what he called, “one of the few levers of influence guaranteed” by law – the Call to the Public – to effectively filibuster their meeting.
Genso says it was the threat of such a tactic in December of 2016 when he and more than 30 residents attended a meeting and he laid out their desire for the meetings to be recorded and broadcast. Genso says while he was the only one to speak that night, it was made clear that if the county government didn’t respond to their demands, each of them would use their three minutes of time to extend their meeting as “long as possible.” He adds that the subcommittee’s 2-1 vote this past November to end the recordings was, “unacceptably disappointing” and “if they are going to force us to attend the meetings as our only way of staying informed, then all we can do is make our attendance something they dread."
Genso expects more than two dozen attendees at Monday’s meeting, each of whom will speak for their allotted three minutes during the Call to the Public, extending the meeting length by at least an hour. Genso, who has been member of the Livingston County Democratic Party Executive Committee since 2008, says the group will be bipartisan with Republicans also planning to participate. Monday’s meeting starts at 7:30pm in the board chambers at the County Administration Building in Downtown Howell. (JK)