Most of us have heard the old adage: “You can’t fight City Hall.” Well, a lifetime of experience has taught me otherwise. Not only can you fight City Hall; sometimes you must fight City Hall!
A Victory for Free Speech
Irvine Community News & Views has been in a two-year battle with City Hall, including a major lawsuit in Federal District Court, that ended when the Irvine City Council finally agreed to pay Irvine Community News & Views $350,000 for our attorneys’ fees and to settle claims that the City intentionally violated ICNV’s free speech, free press and equal protection rights. The City’s hostility toward this newspaper — barring ICNV’s distribution alongside other free newspapers available in the City Hall lobby — apparently stemmed from the fact that ICNV is often critical of the Mayor and certain pro-developer City Councilmembers. Of course, criticism of government — at City Hall and elsewhere — is the time-honored role of a free press in a free society. See the full story here.
A Fight to Save the Veterans Cemetery and Our Great Park
Here is another fight worth waging. Mayor Don Wagner and Councilmembers Christina Shea and Melissa Fox have vowed to follow through on the Council’s 3-to-2 vote in June to kill the State-approved Veterans Cemetery in the Great Park. Apparently, these three Councilmembers intend to rubber-stamp a so-called “land-swap” — a scheme that dissenting Councilmember Lynn Schott has called a “giveaway of our Great Park” to developer FivePoint Communities. This fight is far from over! See the full story on this fight here, and here.
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