Letter: With their votes, 6 members of Assembly quash our rights

I am a lifelong Anchorage Hillside resident. I am not nor have I ever been a member of a union.

On Monday night, I was waiting to testify before the Anchorage Assembly. I am not a union member. This was the eighth Assembly meeting (one regular and four special meetings, plus three work sessions) that I attended over the past three weeks. I wanted to execute my U.S. Constitution, Alaska Constitution and Anchorage Charter guaranteed rights of freedom of speech and public comment on proposed ordinances. At 11 p.m. Monday, March 11, 2013, as I waited in line, my rights, and the rights of all Anchorage residents, were taken away. For at that point, public testimony was closed, even though I had waited literally weeks to be able to speak.

In the last minutes, Assemblyman Paul Honeman made a motion to extend required public testimony to another day. This vote failed 6 to 3. The six Assembly members who voted to silence the people and take away our rights were Hall, Frasca, Johnston, Starr, Trombley and Birch. Regardless of how you feel about the ordinance, those six made a shameful decision, and they must be held accountable.

— Michael Dunsmore