Members of the “Occupy Phoenix” movement attended the Phoenix City Council meeting yesterday. The meeting started at 3:00pm and the council chamber was packed. Approximately, 30 Occupy Phoenix members were in attendance and they “Occupied” two rows. Only one member spoke on agenda items. That Occupy Phoenix member spoke on issues of concern that involved the approval of paying of over 100,000 dollars per year to a “Executive Innovator”. Another area of concern was the approval of bonding under the “Industrial Authority” for a school which was not located in the city or state of Arizona but New York, New York. At one point the mayor appeared to rush the Occupy Phoenix member to hurry and finish to which the member replied: “Okay, okay you’re trying to cut me off”.
After the agenda items were finished the council allowed for the making of non-agenda statements by citizens of the community. Non-Agenda items are subjects to which citizens can make statements or comments about but that the city council cannot respond to. The mayor reduced the usual time span of two minutes for each individual to speak down to one minute. He did this he said due to the large amount of citizens wishing to speak. Many concerns and declarations were brought up by the Occupy Phoenix members who spoke. One person stated that due to the wrongful behaviour of the Phoenix City Manager (Mr. Cavazos) during the Occupy Phoenix event at Margaret T. Hance Park where almost 50 people were arrested that he, the city manager should step down. Another, read a quote from Caesar Chavez even after mayor Gordon tried to stop her claiming there was no more time. This lady then declared that she was going to read this statement because the place located right next to the council building, the plaza, was named after Caesar Chavez. She told the mayor that there was a crisis in Phoenix of homeless people, further she stated that were a high amount of vacant large business buildings not being used and that the homeless would occupy them until they could find adequate shelter.
At the very end the mayor declared all of the citizens that had requested to speak had spoken and adjourned the meeting. But…as soon as Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon had adjourned the meeting a man jumped up from the council audience shouting: “that’s not right mayor, you know I filled out a card and you called out my name to speak earlier ! I did not serve in Iraq only to come back here to this council meeting and be denied the right to speak, I am a citizen of Phoenix, this man then yelled out the mayor was a’ hypocrite’ !” The man, Leonard Clark then stated that he was leaving the building as the police in the building started to move towards him
After this eventful meeting of the Phoenix City Council a good thing happened, or at least from the perspective of the Occupy Phoenix people: Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon within 30 minutes reversed himself and stated that the Occupy Phoenix people could stay within Caesar Chavez Park after its techinal closing as long as no one slept there. So…in effect it appears the Occupy Phoenix won a small victory of sorts by attending the meeting and they have declared that they will have a party celebrating this on Saturday, October 22, 2011.
Disclaimer: the writer and reporter of this article was the man not allowed to speak at the end of the meeting .