Echoing the Pacific Media Workers Guild, the San Francisco Labor Council is calling on the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers Compensation and the state Department of Industrial Relations to abide by the open-meeting law governing state policy bodies.
At the Guild’s request, the council on Aug. 10 unanimously passed a resolution admonishing the commission and the DIR against barring journalists and other members of the public from meetings and other events that they conduct on publicly owned property or that they pay for with taxpayer dollars. The resolution was brought by Rodger Scott, a council delegate from the City College of San Francisco Faculty Union (American Federation of Teachers Local 2121), who teaches traditional studies.
The resolution was adapted from a statement that the Guild adopted in February after Guild Freelancers member Steve Zeltzer was blocked from a celebratory event that the commission and the department held in the state office building in Oakland in mid December. Zeltzer had planned to cover the event for the KPFA radio program “Work Week.”
He also brought the episode to the attention of the sunshine advocacy organization Californians Aware, whose chief counsel, Terry Francke, sent a strongly worded letter to officials of the commission and the DIR warning them to cease and desist from closing their activities to journalists and other members of the public.
– Richard Knee, Guild Legislative and Political Committee Chair