I want to express my appreciation for the attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union Alaska who have taken up the cause of Homer City Council Members Catriona Reynolds, Donna Aderhold and David Lewis. Defending their right to freedom of speech is praiseworthy.
Given the language written in state statutes regarding recalls, perhaps the ACLU does not prevail. In that case, I urge folks to vote “no” on June 13. Personally, I think their arguments are strong enough to require the judge to enjoin this unwarranted recall election. But that is now before the courts and we will see.
Some have criticized the ACLU’s entry into the fray, calling out the anti-recall side for bringing in “the big guns,” as if that’s something lamentable. In my opinion, when you are fighting to protect constitutional rights, especially from such utterly baseless attacks, the ACLU is precisely the legal force you want on the front lines.
ACLU lawyers saw enough of a threat to free speech in the recall effort to warrant their participation. While it may be unfortunate that it requires suing the city, it is most encouraging that they’ve resolved to represent and stand with the three council members.
Should the court decide to enjoin the election and that decision withstands any further legal challenges, opponents of the three council members in question have but months until the next regular election when two of those three seats are up for grabs. That’s the proper and democratic setting for taking candidates to task for proposals and votes with which you might vehemently disagree.
Let’s make our burning questions, fervent concerns and varying opinions the stuff of spirited fall campaigns and test whether Homer is indeed an inclusive community.
If you are of a mind, consider donating to the ACLU and become a member.