Lynnwood City Council members, from left: Jim Smith, Shirley Sutton, Shannon Sessions, Josh Binda, George Hurst, Julieta Altamirano-Crosby, and Patrick Decker. (City of Lynnwood)

Lynnwood City Council members, from left: Jim Smith, Shirley Sutton, Shannon Sessions, Josh Binda, George Hurst, Julieta Altamirano-Crosby, and Patrick Decker. (City of Lynnwood)

After antisemitic rants, Lynnwood council changes public comment rules

Speakers now must register 24 hours beforehand and must give their full name and address before commenting remotely.

LYNNWOOD — The city of Lynnwood announced changes to its remote public comment requirements Thursday, after three speakers uttered a series of racist and antisemitic remarks in the public comment portion of a recent City Council meeting.

The first disruptive commenter at the Nov. 27 council meeting asked for a city declaration condemning Israel’s actions against Palestine, followed by an antisemitic rant.

Mayor Christine Frizzell told him to “clean up” his language.

The next speaker listed off anti-Jewish conspiracies before the mayor told him to keep his comments relevant to Lynnwood.

The last commenter fired off racist slurs when he was interrupted after getting off-topic.

Now Lynnwood will require online registration 24 hours in advance of making remote public comment. The online form asks a number of questions, including the commenter’s full name, address, which meeting they want to comment in and what they want to speak about.

Once the form is submitted, speakers will then be contacted separately with login instructions, according to a statement from the city.

“As a government entity, we respect the right of community members to express their First Amendment right,” the statement read. “However, we will not tolerate speech that infringes the rights of others.”

During that same meeting, City Attorney Lisa Marshall noted the public comment section was a “limited public forum,” which limits what people are able to speak about.

Ashley Nash: 425-339-3037; ashley.nash@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @ash_nash00.

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