We’re Watching the City Council

Printing pressToday’s Beacon article by Kristen Zambo offers far more balance than her piece yesterday, in which abortion advocate Bonnie Grabenhofer—one of only two voice before the Council in favor of Planned Parenthood—was quoted at a length of 78 words, while the pro-life voices were given a mere 54 words, none of which was actually from the formal statements before the Council. This is, interestingly, the only time that the score card has worked out that way for the pro-life side.

  • Statements to City Council August 28: 100 to 2
  • Protestors on August 25: 1,300 to 18
  • Presence at Prisco Center, August 16: 450 to 15

By the way, fifteen of those 54 words quoted yesterday from the pro-life side came from the outcry from the people when Alderman Leroy Keith proposed a resolution—narrowly defeated—that public comment be cut off at 9:00, which would have silenced scores of citizens. I applaud the Beacon editors for today agreeing that Keith was wrong. Speaking of Keith, on the front page of today’s Beacon, he is quoted on Tuesday’s Council meeting saying, “Three were quite a few threats made to aldermen, some specifically, about their career.” Now, I have not had the pleasure of meeting Alderman Keith. I hope some day I shall. But to judge from his attempt to squelch public discussion on Tuesday, and his characterization of citizens’ declarations not to vote for the reelection of someone who does not support their most deeply held convictions and civic concerns as “threats,” Keith needs a lesson in democracy. Perhaps he shall get it in 2009. In contrast to Keith, Aldermen Richard Irvin and Rick Lawrence have heard the people’s voice. Irvin says we need to look at how Gemini/Planned Parenthood came into Aurora “under cloak of night,” and asks, “Do we have a cause of action to take [Planned Parenthood’s] permits away from them?” I’m gratified that Irvin is asking that crucial question. Alderman Lawrence goes even farther in another article on the front page, calling for Aurora to pass a parental notification law. There can be no doubt that Lawrence listened closely to the voices of his constituents on Tuesday when they spoke out not only about the manner in which Planned Parenthood came to town, but the real threat Planned Parenthood poses to our children. The entire City Council can be certain that we will be watching very closely as this important investigation into Planned Parenthood’s actions takes place.

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