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Plan Your Visit - Philadelphia City Council

DEMOCRACY REQUIRES FREE SPEECH, A FAIR PRESS, & OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS for the "informed consent" of the governed

In a functioning democracy, the public must be allowed to speak on and hear all sides of any debate, in order for city officials to lay claim to the "informed consent" of the governed. That is not happening in many parts of the United States, and certainly not in the City of Philadelphia. We do not have a free or a fair press.  Our press is overwhelmingly privately owned and routinely censors the news. Meanwhile, the public is actively discouraged from bringing before city council and city departments their legitimate concerns, by being restricted to speak on 'agenda items' only; many city council committees and city department don't hold regularly scheduled public meetings at all; while city council meetings are often dominated by celebrations and the honoring of various events, individuals, and groups, undermining the serious atmosphere necessary to conduct business.  At the same time, the newspapers TV news, radio stations routinely report only one side of a story and often do not include a comment section; as social media often suspends and bans users with whom they disagree. We do not have meaningful and effective free speech or a fair press. What we have is systemic censorship... and it needs to end.  Which is why we must fight every day for our human rights to free speech, a fair press, and a responsive government.

SUGGESTED PROTOCOLS FOR GOVERNMENT PUBLIC MEETINGS:  Why are public meetings so important? Because this is the publicís arena; their opportunity to address their political representatives as well as the public with their concerns and possible solutions. Most public meetings are televised and published online, so their audience can be quite large.