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VIDEO: Seattle City Council Members Show Passive-Aggressive Contempt For Speaker at Public Hearing

VIDEO: Seattle City Council Members Show Passive-Aggressive Contempt For Speaker at Public Hearing

“It reminded me of George Orwell’s famous scene from ‘Animal Farm’ about how all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”

Members of Seattle’s City Council seem to have forgotten that they are servants of the public. During a recent public hearing, a man wanted to make a statement. The open contempt the members of the council showed to this man was astounding.

We recently ran a post featuring a news special titled “Seattle is Dying.” Maybe this is part of the reason why.

Jason Rantz of MyNorthwest has details:

Voter delivers devastating takedown of Seattle Council’s disinterest in listening to the public

Public comment periods at any council meeting tend to be a mixed bag of professional activists and mentally unstable people showing up to yell.

But every once and awhile you get someone who hopes to earnestly discuss an issue that’s important to them and others. When that person comes, you expect a council to at least put down their phones for 120 seconds and show some modicum of respect, even if the person shows up frequently.

In a video spreading on Facebook, a man is shown at a March 11 public comment period to discuss the state of our Democracy, but he didn’t get a chance to make his comments.

He was instantly ignored by a disinterested council. That disturbed him.

The man asked the council to actually look at him while he was speaking. Instead of paying attention, Councilwoman Debora Juarez scolds the man for wasting his 120 seconds while others, like Kshama Sawant and Lorena Gonzalez were swiping and typing on their cell phones, not caring what the man had to say. He’s not a professional activist bussed in to back some union-driven agenda; he’s not a donor to a campaign. He is just a Seattle voter and, in this city, these voices don’t matter.

“It’s real discouraging to come up here and see all the heads down, it’s like…,” the man said before being interrupted by Juarez telling him “…you’re on a two minute timer here, so let’s go.” For a moment, Councilmember Mike O’Brien looked up from his phone.

The man makes the point that when Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Seattle) recently spoke to the council, she was given unlimited time and that the council members all appeared very interested in hearing what she had to say.

“It reminded me of George Orwell’s famous scene from ‘Animal Farm’ about how all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others and that’s how I feel like I’m being treated now, just because I was kind of asking for your attention, like I noticed you all very attentive to Ms. Jaypal last week. And I immediately got a hostile response back from you. I don’t understand that.”

All this man was asking for was for the members of the council to give him the respect of at least looking like they were paying attention to him as he spoke, and they couldn’t be bothered.

At the 58 second mark, when he mentions “the state of our democracy,” a sigh of exasperation can be heard.

Watch the entire exchange:

The video has gone viral on Facebook and other platforms. The council must have received an earful of criticism.

Q13 FOX reached out to the council for comment and received this response from council member M. Lorena González:

“Listening and learning from our constituents during public comment is an important part of my responsibility as an elected official. I apologize to the people of Seattle who believe we missed the mark on March 11. As a councilmember who represents the entire city, I regularly meet with Seattle residents on issues that matter to them. One of the best aspects of public service is my personal contacts with neighbors at community meetings, on the bus, at the grocery store and with those who come to City Hall to provide meaningful public comment. Receiving public comment, verbal or written, or having sidewalk conversations with constituents is a fundamental part of the democratic process.”

This council has repeatedly demonstrated through their actions exactly what they think of their constituents.

They just want to do what they want to do, and the public is an annoying obstacle to that. They want the people to sit down and shut up.

The people of Seattle need to take their city back.

Featured image via YouTube.


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DieJustAsHappy | March 23, 2019 at 2:13 pm

Disgraceful, although not surprising. The statement by M. Lorena González is a non-apology to the man involved and is filled with political platitudes which reek of contempt.

I apologize to the people of Seattle who believe we missed the mark on March 11.

Oh, these people aren’t narcissistic at all.

Leftist speakers at our city council meetings are treated like honored guests while rightists are labeled by council members as pesky ‘gadflys.’

The people of Seattle need to take their city back.

They do indeed. But they won’t. Not until Seattle becomes like Venezuela.

Why should anyone evince surprise at the conduct of the council members, here? Their attitudes and behavior encapsulate the predictable imperially arrogance, self-aggrandizement and contemptuous disdain of Leftist apparatchiks, vis-a-vis the proletariat rabble, since time immemorial. The governing class believes that the governed are its servants, not, the other way around.

The only mistake the council made, as far as they’re concerned, was getting caught on videotape.

And, of course, I must add that the Dhimmi-crats/Dumb-o-crats want to install this type of imperially arrogant and contemptuous governance at all levels of American society, municipal, state and federal.

Since Seattle is unlikely to change, and so many of them retire to the Olympic peninsula, my fervent prayer is for the Hood Canal bridge to sink again, and not be replaced.

    C. Lashown in reply to MrE. | March 24, 2019 at 7:44 am

    Actually, a nice eruption from Rainer with a lava flow running north and west towards Kent and Tacoma would be interesting. A great little earthquake to split Lake Washington with the Rainer Valley east of Beacon Ave under 30′ of water…that should cause the council to pee their panties, and put out the fires started by the lava flows. Let’s see Mercer Island and Redmond get washed away, while Bill Gates is home (of course).

Just couple of takeaways from this.

First, this is a period for short public comment on agenda issues, not a public platform to discuss other things.

Second, if this man had something important to say, about an agenda item, it apparently was not as important to him as having the council members slavishly hanging on his every word.

Third, many people can multitask. If this speaker had simply delivered his speech, rather than get into a pi**ing contest over having the members of the council look at him as he spoke and restarting the timer, he might actually have gotten his “important” point across.

Fourth, the members of the council do not work for any individual. They work for the entire city. They are not required to pay attention to any individual. If the rest of the voters do not like a councilperson’s attitude, they are free to vote them out.

Now, one of the things about this incident is the nature of the man’s planned comment. And, for some reason in the council bashing, it gets lost. Guess what? According to him, he wanted to complain about the 2 minute public speaking time limit [ ]. That’s right, his big beef was that the members of the council do not slavishly listen to every person who wanders in to complain about some ridiculous thing in life. His apparent reason for being there is that he does not get enough attention in his life. He was not delivering his thoughts on significant public finances, or a public dangerous condition, or even something of public interest. He wants to complain that he, and others like him who simply want attention, do not get as much as they want from the City Council. Maybe, if he actually had something important or relevant to city business to say, I might be interested in this incident, maybe. But, he did not, so it is just another exercise in mental masturbation.

    tom_swift in reply to Mac45. | March 23, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    his big beef was that the members of the council do not slavishly listen

    I really do have to wonder what planet you’re beaming this stuff down from.

      Mac45 in reply to tom_swift. | March 23, 2019 at 5:03 pm

      Did you listen to the link that I provided? That was his reason for addressing the council.

        healthguyfsu in reply to Mac45. | March 23, 2019 at 6:15 pm

        Does he not have a point? There could and should be a process in place to petition in advance for more time.

        If what he said is true, such a concession was granted to another politician just because of who they were. There should be a process in place, and it should be considered, not summarily dismissed as he was herein. In his 2 minute time limit, he effectively made that case and exposed their contemptible behavior (or they made it for him), regardless of what else he wanted to say.

          There is a mechanism in place. If he wants to speak on a topic of legislation or a matter of public importance which the council is considering, or should consider, all he has to do is contact his councilperson, or several councilpersons, and he can probably have all the time he wants to speak about it. What he wants is a public soapbox at the council meeting. The council grants that, but limits the time to 2 minutes. And, yes, some animals are more equal than others. It is generally not a good idea to alienate a state or federal legislature who may be in a position to get money for your city.

          Now, another thing. Has he spoken before the Council before? How often? On what topics? How was he received? This is a single moment, not the totality of his history with the Council. Is it possible that he has used the public comment time as his personal soapbox, in the past? In this instance, he has said that purpose was to complain about the 2 minute time limit and general harangue the Council. Now, I doubt that the Council was discussing the public comment time limit nor were they taking up the issue of the Council’s performance. Is it possible that the Council is familiar with him and simply had no desire to listen to his speech? Yet, they still gave him his 2 minutes.

          He had 2 minutes to speak and chose not to, simply because he could not get his own way. What does that suggest about the man?

          healthguyfsu in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 24, 2019 at 12:48 pm

          All one needs to take away from your comment is that you do believe some animals are more equal than others and the city council is justified in their rude behavior.

          Also, you well know that the “mechanism” you attempt to counter with is not the same because it is not public and only addresses one person at a time.

          There’s no point in debating you further as you continue down your skewed, tangential course to irrelevance regarding this matter.

    jakee308 in reply to Mac45. | March 23, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    You and you’re attitude would fit right in on that council.

    You should go see if there’s any openings.

      Mac45 in reply to jakee308. | March 23, 2019 at 9:05 pm

      Don’t project your personal feelings about government officials cloud the issue.

      The Council could be a bunch of self absorbed individuals who care nothing about public opinion. On the other hand, Mr. Schwartz may be a pain in the Council’s neck. We can not tell from this single video.

      However, Mr. Schwartz clearly stated that he was there, not to address any issues of substance, but the 2 minute public comment time limit and his general disapproval of the Council. And, the Council granted him the time to do that. But, they are under NO obligation to listen to him. He wanted a public soapbox to complain and he was granted that. But, he wanted more. He wanted the undivided attention of the council members and when he didn’t get it, he threw a temper tantrum and stomped off. C’est la vie.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Mac45. | March 23, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    None of which is the point. The point is that a citizen, you know one of their bosses, whom they are paid to listen to was speaking and their complete lack of respect and in fact open contempt is the issue.

    Do I believe they should have been “slavishly hanging on his every word”, you’re damned right I do.

    I am also amazed to hear you defend what is effectively the “nobles”.

    hrhdhd in reply to Mac45. | March 23, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    Multitasking is a myth. Especially two tasks that center on language (e.g., listening to someone and texting someone else).

It has been my experience that as soon as the election is over, city and county officials hide from the public. One that did not was accosted at a grocery store and the man demanded to know why a bridge was not built over a dry wash out in the country. he bought land cheap and put a home on it knowing that once or twice a year the dry wash was anything but and wanted the county to build a bridge just for him. The county commissioner told he never planned on building such a bridge that every voter would have to pay for but was of no benefit to them.

Elected officials need to be on video, at every single public meeting. If the rot ever gets cut out, it will only happen when people see the rot with their own eyes. Keep recording.

    C. Lashown in reply to jaudio. | March 24, 2019 at 7:36 am

    Actually, in the past couple of years there have been 2 movies that have come out dealing with “The Purge”. It’s kind of like a societal laxative to remove the dross. I think our elected officials and union officials would improve their game if they understood there was a ‘purge’ waiting for them. Ummm…say 10-20% can be removed every 18 months without cause. THAT would keep the elected elite on their toes – maybe remove a lot of that hubris and replace it with hard working humility of a public servant.

Leftists are totaltarians, after all. Why would they look up at this peon? He’s lucky they didn’t put him in a gulag.

    How MUCH woudl you like to bet that this guy voted for the very people who blew him off?

    And how MUCH would you like to bet he’ll vote for them again?

    TX-rifraph in reply to | March 23, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Each layer of the ruling class serves the next higher layer. When the Council members ignored this guy, they were actually being honest when they displayed contempt.

    They do not fear him. They fear honest elections (no fraud) and their handlers.

If elected representatives cannot give their constituents the same respect they demand, then they need to be replaced. If you’ve seen the video on Seattle dying, then you know how serious this is. In the video there is also an example of the public addressing the City Council, and you can watch some idiot on the Council smirking at the speakers and getting called out for it; and obviously not giving a damn.

Unbelievable. Why do these jerks become politicians in the first place?

I lived in Seattle 1974-85 and things were much different back then, especially with reference to the public drunkeness and homelessness. After watching this video a few days ago, I recall thinking to myself with that councilman just ignored the speaker….and the crowds were yelling. “The only thing that’s going to budge those liberal elites is if there were a bums rush of 30-50 big men towards the podium and they grabbed someone and lynched him on the spot!”

There would be one hell of a price to pay, with the elites probably becoming even more isolated from reality… BUT, so what? The elites aren’t listening now, so the only issue is the individual freedoms lost because of the street justice being carried out.

The elites are NOT GOING TO LISTEN until they have no other choice. Just look at the diehard legions of ‘Orange Man Bad’ anarchists. You could have Mueller swearing on a stack of Bibles and sacrificing his first born at the same time, and they would still say that President Trump cheated in the election. They remind me of children who DEMAND to get their own way, regardless of the cost. The very worse thing that could happen is for President Trump to show weakness or indecision….and sadly he’d done this at times. Indecision gives Trumps enemies hope, the last thing we want them to have.