Assembly overrides mayor on his veto of ordinance that limits free speech rights


At a hastily called meeting to address Mayor Dave Bronson’s veto of anti-free speech Anchorage Ordinance 2021-117, the Anchorage Assembly on Friday voted 9-2 to overturn the veto and uphold the ordinance. Voting against the override were free-speech champions Chugiak-Eagle River Assembly members Jamie Allard and Crystal Kennedy.

The ordinance prevents people from using their three minutes at the podium to conduct a silent protest and gives greater authority to remove people from meetings to the chair of the Assembly.

The leftist majority has had a hard time controlling the public at its meetings because of the strong disagreements that the public has with the majority members now known as the “Marxist Nine.” The Assembly, in response, is now clamping down on free speech rights, including barring what people may bring into the meetings with them. Things like American flags, for instance, which the chair of the Assembly now has the power to deem as dangerous or distracting.

“Mayor Bronson supports the Assembly’s right to manage their meetings,” the mayor’s spokesman said in a statement. “But they don’t have the right to infringe on citizens constitutional rights including their right to petition their government. The mayor supports the First Amendment, which gives every citizen the right to address their government.”

The Assembly also had something to say in defense of themselves:

“This ordinance is a simple and straightforward codification of longstanding procedures that ensure order and safety at Assembly meetings. It is critical to the functioning of the legislative branch of our municipal government that the Assembly Chair has the tools and resources needed to effectively run meetings,” said Chair Suzanne LaFrance in a statement. “The Assembly rules, the Anchorage Charter and the Anchorage Municipal Code provide an abundance of opportunities for public input, notice and transparency. The changes in this ordinance do not infringe on those important rights of citizens to speak up and access their government. What is does do is prevent actions that can disrupt the business of our municipality and put participants at risk for their safety.”

At the opening of the Special Meeting, Vice Chair Chris Constant said the mayor’s concerns about First Amendment issues are unwarranted. “The ordinance cleans up several contradictions; makes the Assembly’s rules more transparent and user-friendly; and the vast majority of its necessary updates are non-controversial.”

The leftists on the Assembly have shown a pattern of using their rules selectively against members of the public on numerous occasions over the past two years, when the public suddenly took a greater interest in what the Assembly was doing.


  1. In the nearly 63 years of statehood, Alaska has not had a more fascist political body than the the current Anchorage Assembly. These little woke dictators need to be taken down by the voters. If there was a way to abolish the entire Assembly, the voters would do it, expeditiously, and create a new political body. This one is completely broken and lawless.

  2. The US is in an unconventional match with some hostile aggressive invasive nations with strange ideas about our value system. They, by their anti- Constitutional behavior identify themselves and their representatives who accept funds from us to be our representative while agents for others too. Sad.

  3. Elections have consequences. Especially ones that are conducted by mail. The Mayor would be wise to figure out a way to audit elections, stop mail in voting, and fix this mess right now. We are all suffering due to inaction on securing our elections. It really is priority one.

  4. This ordinance is clearly unconstitutional. Even the Alaska Supreme Vourt would see it that way. What the Assembly majority is doing is limiting free speech they don’t want to hear. They sit on the dais and text while public testimony is taking place and do not even try to hide their contempt for the public addressing their concerns.

    Why do the people of Anchorage continue to vote in these immature dictators?

  5. So is anybody gonna sue them this time? Anchorage talks a lot but does damn little when action is required.
    This lawless Politburo ignores city law, you do nothing. They ignore state law, you do nothing. Now the violate the US Constitution and you do what?
    This truly is the government Anchorage deserves.

  6. Have to laugh at the absurdity of saying outlawing saying nothing limits free speech. It takes a special kind of stupid to stand for three minutes, say nothing and say this is testimony.

    • Have to laugh at the absurdity of saying outlawing [burning the American flag] limits free speech. It takes a special kind of stupid to stand for three minutes, [watch the flag burn] and say this is testimony.

    • Frank, it is interesting and illuminating to watch and read all the mental gymnastics and contortions in which all you radical leftists consistently engage in order to defend the indefensible.
      Do you take pride in putting the bad over the good, and fantasies over reality, I wonder?

  7. When you make the decision to side-step the US Constitution, you have declared yourself above the words of that Document and all It stands for!
    You are no longer an American, by any standard.

    • Guitar: sorta like attempting to get VP Mike Pence to violate the constitution and when he doesn’t, threaten to hang him! At very least, that is “side-stepping” the constitution.

  8. Every single Assembly member who voted to override that veto is negligent in their responsibilities to represent the people of this city.
    Yes, I know it can be frustrating when you have to put in a weeks worth of nights to hear testimony, but NEWS FLASH! That is your job. That is what you HAVE TO DO as an Assemblymember.
    Bummer, too bad, so sad, but if you are not interested in hearing from the public, step down.

  9. Remember folks, education is the key. Anyone remember the Bong Hits for Jesus kid in Juneau about 20 years ago? The SCOTUS ruled that while yes, he was on a school sanctioned function he was also exercising his First Amendment rights. So, show up to the Assembly meeting with a simple sign that says “I object” and hold it up, in silence during your 3 minutes. Have a lawyer who’s ready to file a lawsuit the next day after their goons remove you from the chambers. You WILL win and cost the city dearly.

    • MJ: Republicans are three things – hypocrites, without policy, and, as you’ve laid out, obstructionists.

      • Evan:
        I read, and re-read MJ’s comment a few times. He does not mention Republicans in any way.
        Can I request you clarify why you posted that reply, and what you really mean by it?

  10. Middle school maturity. Severe lack of common sense, with vengeance the goal. Praying for replacement by proactive productive citizens in the next election.

    • Not with just vengeance as their goal, Elizabeth. These people (the Marxist Nine) are outright evil in their social, economic and political nihilism. Destruction, of everything honest, sensible, rational, traditional and good, is their true goal

  11. There is no way in HADES I would support a constitutional convention with representatives like this running around. At least with our current Constitution, there is a SLIM chance for the rule of law to be applied by the courts.

  12. As Gore Vidal once (allegedly) said, “Freedom of speech is being able to say whatever you want and not being held accountable.”

    • Gore Vidal apparently never heard of slander or libel laws, had his mouth rinsed out with soap, nor got punched in the nose as a kid.

  13. Take the little dictators to court and if the state liberal supreme court doesn’t respect the US constitution, take them to federal court. and everyone VOTE in April to get rid of this tired crowd.

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