Council Talks First Amendment

By Pilar Arias

First Amendment rights were a topic of discussion at the San Antonio City Council Governance Committee meeting Wednesday.

District 1 Councilman Roberto Trevino filed a council consideration request asking the permitting procedures for assembly and procession be reassessed and to provide options for potentially easing restrictions.

“The central issue that we’ve had a problem with in the community is the amount of discretion in the police department and the cost involved,” Free Speech Coalition member Amy Kastely told the committee. “The consequence of this ordinance has been that numerous groups and individuals have been discouraged from having events, from speaking out, from having protests but also most painfully from having traditional cultural events.”

Kastely referred to the ordinance as onerous and said it’s difficult for people to even get applications for permits.

District 3 Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran said she’s looking forward to further discussions about potential improvements to the policy.

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