Booting Reporters From City Hall Meeting Is Perfectly Legal, City Attorney Says

Categories: Government
Reporting live from San Francisco City Hall
Yesterday SF Weekly told you about an incident where Supervisor Jane Kim's staff kicked reporters out of a City Hall meeting as residents gathered to vent about the homeless problem in the Tenderloin neighborhood.

It turns, the freshman supervisor's questionable move was perfectly legal, albeit bad PR.

The City Attorney tells us today that Kim did not violate any public meeting laws because her office never posted the event as open to the public. Instead, it was constituents who had sent around a flier, inviting the community, and members of the press to the "public meeting."

"Private meetings can be held with elected officials because it might deal with private constituent matters," said Jack Song, spokesman with the City Attorney's Office. 
"When there is a public meeting, then of course the press is invited to that."

Reporters, including one from the Examiner, left the meeting as instructed, yet at least one writer still managed to squeeze a story out of it -- and quote people from the meeting.

Kim's office told SF Weekly that the meeting was private, and listed as a "community meeting" on the supervisors calendar.

The reason for the closed-door hearing was to give constituents the chance to speak their minds about the Next Door homeless shelter without the fear of being quoted as callous in the press.

"Having a bunch of reporters there is not conducive to speaking your mind freely, you know?" a Kim aide told SF Weekly.

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My Voice Nation Help
h. brown
h. brown

Many thanks,

to the Weekly for breaking the story. Odd that Sabatini didn't mention being booted from the meeting. Wonder if not mentioning that was his idea or his editor? It's consistent with Kim. I ran in the D-6 contestand for the first time low profile (read: no money) were illegally shut out of candidate forums (sometimes physically). Kim went along with it cause she ain't into public contact if she can avoid it.

Gone from her 'to-do' list are items like the first U.S. injection site for Hep C patients and visitor rights for SRO residents (there are 15,000 of us) for the 1st and 3rd of each month. Watch her today on items ... Board back!!



Jane Kim has open office hours on the first Friday and Saturday of the month, so much for avoiding public contact. Not to mention she was easily the most visible candidate in the D6 race with her listening booth.

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