Coquille held its first civil rights symposium Saturday and you can find some pictures up at Concerned Citizens of Coquille. The World newspaper has an article out which will expire so I will not link but here is an extract –

Dian Courtright, an organizer of the event, said Concerned Citizens has attracted a diverse collection of members who have different agendas, but one fundamental similarity. They want to be heard.

“The best option is to be a support system,” she said. “We want to get people together, to come under our umbrella. We want to support people and their agenda, but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily our agenda.”

One way to provide this support would be to create a citizen review board. Although the parameters of such a body were not specifically spelled out, its main purpose would be to serve as an advocacy group for people with complaints. They could be about neighbors or government officials, though most of the talk at Saturday’s event focused on problems with police.

“A lot of people are intimidated or uncomfortable with facing them,” said Mary Geddry, another member of Concerned Citizens. “A review board is a good thing for city government. It can iron out the enmity between citizens and local officials.”

Speaking of intimidation – recent attempts by Councilman Parker to silence the press and members of the community for voicing their opinioins took another turn today. Cory Courtright had an appointment with Mr Parker this morning to discuss his ‘rant’ at the last city council meeting. The meeting did not go well and I have asked Cory to write an article about her experience to post on the blog.

The symposium had the first ten amendments posted around the room, the 1st Amendment amongst them. Parker should really read that one.

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Coquille can hardly be regarded as a thriving community, commercial vacancies are high, school days have been cut back, streets are not properly maintained and the sewer plant!?!?!?!?. For a city council member to openly attempt to damage the reputation of a local business hurts the entire community and this type of behavior has to be eliminated from the city council