Some of the City Council’s most influential aldermen proposed a crackdown today on crowd participation at council meetings that would ban everything from signs and posters to clapping and booing in the public gallery.
“No demonstration of approval or disapproval from members of the public shall be permitted within the City Council Chambers, including, but not limited to cheering, yelling, clapping, foot stomping, whistling, booing, or jeering, and if such demonstrations are conducted, the gallery or public seating area may be cleared,” states the proposed ordinance, which goes to the Rules Committee for a hearing.
The changes also would prohibit “signs, placards, banners or posters” within the chambers, unless pre-approved by Mayor Rahm Emanuel or the alderman leading the meeting. The sponsors are Alds. Edward Burke, 14th, Richard Mell, 33rd, Carrie Austin, 34th, and Ray Suarez, 31st.
Although loud demonstrations are frowned upon, audience members have traditionally only been removed for the most egregious demonstrations, like making obscene gestures or refusing to pipe down after being warned. Signs within the chambers are common.
Chicago aldermen want to quiet public at council meetings
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