The Real Emergency Is Not The Citizens’ Singing

July 15, 2013,  By Susan Cohen

[What follows are written comments submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Administration as part of the public input process on the promulgation of emergency administrative rules. – Editors]

Thank you for this opportunity for my voice to be heard; please consider this statement an extension of the statement I made at the hearing on Friday.

 

 

DOA Legal Counsel Greg Murray, DOA Executive Assistant Wendy Coomer, and Sue Barica, Assistant to WI State Capitol Police at the hearing for public input 7.12.2013

DOA Legal Counsel Greg Murray, DOA Executive Assistant Wendy Coomer, and Sue Barica, Assistant to WI State Capitol Police at the hearing for public input 7.12.2013

In her opening statement on Friday, in the hearing concerning changes to Administration Rules, Wendy Coomer promised the proposed rule changes, as written, could be changed again based on citizen comments. I remind you now, in the two hours of spoken testimony, only six minutes was devoted to maintaining the rule changes; the remainder of the time was spent in thoughtful, well-researched and sometimes emotional demands that the rule not be implemented. The hearing was recorded in multiple formats and it is an easy thing to go back and examine testimony and the opinion of citizens who attended the hearing.

Madison teacher Susan Cohen with State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Evers. Photo courtesy of Leslie Amsterdam

Madison teacher Susan Cohen with State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Evers. Photo courtesy of Leslie Amsterdam

In addition, I would ask you to think very carefully about the difference between an emergency and an annoyance. Having large numbers of people disagree with the performance of their elected officials is an emergency for the citizens; when those citizens petition their officials for redress of those actions, it is an annoyance for the elected officials. Put even more simply, the emergency at the Capitol is not citizens singing to the Governor and Legislator, the emergency is that those citizens feel compelled to be there at all. The rules won’t change the citizen’s emergency; the rules stop the Governor and Legislator’s annoyance.

It is my nature to assume best intentions from people; it is my nature to assume people are truthful. As a fellow citizen of Wisconsin, I ask you to consider the statements of other citizen and remove the unconstitutional provision in the Administrative Code.

Susan Cohen with Solidarity SingAlong at People Brat Fest 5.25.13

Susan Cohen with Solidarity SingAlong at People Brat Fest 5.25.13

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