Pasadena : 'Civil Liberties' Measure

The Board of Directors voted Tuesday to keep alive a proposed "civil liberties ordinance," although several directors said they aren't sure it is needed.

The ordinance would guarantee people's right to register voters, solicit money for charitable organizations and gather signatures on petitions in open facilities such as shopping malls.

The board voted 6 to 1 to send the measure to the city Human Services Commission and to the board's legislative subcommittee for further review.

Director John Crowley, contending that civil liberties are adequately protected by state and federal laws, voted to kill the measure.

Director William Thomson also said the measure may not be necessary, and added: "It's not on its way to passage in its present form. I'd describe it as having escaped being buried."

The ordinance was proposed by Pasadena attorney Dale Gronemeier, who described it as "an opportunity to lock in strong protections" against violations of civil liberties. It includes criminal penalties of up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine for those who obstruct protected activities.

Speaking against the measure were representatives of H-CHH Partners, owners of Plaza Pasadena, which is involved in litigation to prevent a political group, represented by Gronemeier, from circulating petitions inside the mall.

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