GRANOLAPARK: For the Cause


Last Monday’s Takoma Park city council meeting was all bad news.

Not only did most of the council succumb to gold-fever, as we reported in our last post, the meeting was also Councilmember Reuben Snipper’s last before he steps down from office. AND the council caved to the activists.

The majority voted for two feel-good resolutions. One urges the repeal of the National Defense Authorization Act’s indefinite detention provisions The other supports redirecting a big portion of the defense budget to less war-like federal departments.

Councilmembers Seth Grimes and Tim Male cast “no” votes. The issues were not the city’s business, they pointed out, and the resolutions are ineffective. The city attorney took out the only phrase that had bite. It promised non-cooperation with the Feds on the indefinate detention provisions.

Grimes noted that only half of the email from his consituents supported these resolutions, belying the pro-resolution turnout at this and other meetings.

The first of several citizens to comment in support of the resolutions noted how busy the council was. Instead of shortening his and other supporter’s remarks,  however, they  proceeded to waste even more of the council’s time with redundant comments.

The council spent about an hour on the issue. At 11 pm, they still had an agenda item – a closed door discussion. Lord knows when they finished.

But, we shouldn’t quibble. It was time well spent. Just look at the major media coverage the city’s resolutions got. The brave passing of these resolutions was the turning point! Victory for the Cause(s)!

We can tell how much coverage it got by Googling . . .  we’ll just try it now. We can’t wait to see what the New York Times had to say. And Fox News is probably having a fit about it . . .

Huh, . . . not one word of media coverage. Not. One.

– Gilbert

About the Author

Gilbert is the pseudonym of a hard-bitten, hard-drinking, long-time Takoma Park resident who maintains the granolapark blog. Gilbert and William L. Brown — Granola Park's mild-mannered chief of staff, researcher, and drink pourer — have never been seen in the same place at the same time.

3 Comments on "GRANOLAPARK: For the Cause"

  1. Lisa Moscatiello | May 24, 2012 at 8:13 pm |

    I would like to thank my city council rep, Kay Daniels-Cohen for voting in favor of the anti-NDAA resolution, which decries the use of of indefinite detention without trial for suspected terrorist activities. I respect Seth and Tim’s vote with their conscience and their constituents (which I don’t see as having “caved” to them).

  2. For the record, I agree with the aims of the resolutions, just not with the mechanism. We individual citizens elect senators, representatives, and the president. A corporations such as the City of Takoma Park doesn’t have a vote in elections, and doesn’t have business getting involved in political matters that don’t affect it operationally.

    I did speak out on the two issues in question. Faithful Gilbert-readers might check out the Cardin versions of the letters I sent on the two issues:

    I sent similar letters to Representative Van Hollen and Senator Mikulski and, on the NDAA issue, to the nation’s two top civil rights officials, Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Roy Austin, both of whom live here in Takoma Park. I don’t have any response for the latter two gentlemen, which leads me to pose to them Florence Patton Reece’s question:

  3. I thought Kay Daniels-Cohen might bring a different, more locally focused, perspective to the council.


    While I appreciate her energy, I have to say I’m disappointed that she didn’t consider whether resolutions such as these have any impact on the daily lives of her Ward 3 constituents. Yes, I suppose people in Takoma Park could be indefinitely detained, though no one has explained how that might happen. What is also unclear to me is how passage of the NDAA resolution will prevent that from happening, or reverse the course of events should it happen. It is indeed ironic that the only two paragraphs with any teeth were removed. (In fact, there probably should have been a public hearing beforehand, given the hortatory nature of the original resolution.) What is also distressing to me is the total lack of publicity about the council’s consideration of these resolutions. You would have had to watch the public comment portions of the meetings in April or read Gilbert to even know this was coming up. The city did not think it needed to tell anyone.

    What the council members who voted for this do not understand is that there are many residents who 1) don’t know and don’t care what the council does and 2) would roll their eyes when told what it ended up doing.

    At least all the supporters of the resolutions (residents and councilpeople) now feel good about themselves. And really, that — not the well-being of the citizens of Takoma Park — is what matters.

    I can’t wait for the next resolution! FISA, here we come!

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