Our View: Jim Crow of another form

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It was just a short time ago that an appeals court in Florida ruled that the Sunshine clause in the state Constitution did not require councils and commissions of counties and municipalities to take public comment during meetings that were required to be open to the public.

The Legislature stepped in and in 2013 told local governing bodies they had to take public comment and to formulate a policy to address the issue.

All of our municipalities have taken the state statute to heart and, generally, passed policies allowing comment before and after business. There are some variations on how long a citizen can speak and when they can address agenda items and just address what is on their minds and in their hearts.

That is all well and good, but as we approach the annual Sunshine Week celebration in Florida, a disturbing trend – one that reeks of “Jim Crow” when blacks found their voices and votes limited – has crept into those public comment policies.

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