It is not acceptable to demonstrate at the home of a government official
For the publisher: Nicholas Goldberg’s column points to but does not explicitly mention another problematic element of this kind of “protest” in front of the homes of government officials – this provides yet another compelling reason for skilled and caring people to avoid public service.
Ironically, these protesters don’t even realize that their activism is being manipulated by the same media figures who have been telling their listeners for decades that government is not working.
If you had a choice between leading a decent, quiet life in another neighborhood or taking a job in the public sector where part of the reward is mocked in your own aisle for making tough decisions, which rational person would choose? Who could blame someone for this?
The result is sad: the public is deprived of the work of competent and caring individuals.
Blaise Jackson, Escondido
For the publisher: I am sympathetic to officials who have faced protests in their homes that are unfolding with a much higher degree of venom and personal attacks.
However, as someone who protested at Getty House against a former Los Angeles mayor, I believe that city council’s extension of the buffer zone from 100ft to 300ft is loose, violates 1st Amendment rights, and is frankly impractical.
What is stopping the protesters from simply reverse engineering these protests? Simply find a residence 100 yards from the intended public official’s home, make some symbolic signs that target the neighboring landlord so as to, say, not have an xeriscaped yard, then stay 100 yards from that house – conveniently, in front of the official’s home – where protesters may also have placards and banners targeting them.
Ged Kenslea, North Hollywood
For the publisher: Demonstrations in front of a public official’s home affect not only the targeted person but also their entire family as well as neighbors in the neighborhood.
Would you like people to beat drums and throw things in the neighborhood where you live? Imagine children terrified of loud noises and people knocking on doors and windows. It could actually be dangerous to go out or driving on the street.
I believe the protests are important, as I have attended several, but they should take place near an official’s workplace, not in a residential community.
Debbie Cassettari, Chino Hills