I had a free evening so I decided to go out and get photos from the happenings surrounding the second round of testimony relating to the HCPSS redistricting plan.
I have photos from before the meeting with those opposing and supporting the plan…and a few photos from inside of the meeting (early on). Here are the photos I took (located on Facebook):
If I were to guess (because I did not actually count) I would say there was somewhere near 250 people outside protesting the redistricting plan…that is my best guess.
There were a few people there in support of the plan…holding signs that stated “African American Community Roundtable of Howard County Maryland, Supports Super Plan”. One of those supporting the plan was Larry Walker, the deputy pastor at Celebration Church in Columbia.
I almost was denied access to enter the meeting to get the few photos I took. I was originally told by a HCPSS staff member (I am guessing because he was wearing a HCPSS shirt and directing people in front of the building) that I could not enter to take photos of the meeting because I was not “part of the press or part of a news agency”. You can guess how happy I was to hear that last evening. I got lucky and ran into HoCoBOE member Chao Wu just before the meeting started. He was nice enough to walk me in the door and connect me with other HCPSS staff. I am guessing that they talked with others (including other HoCoBOE members) and I was finally allowed into the meeting to get photos.
One of the items on my to do list…find out what the rules are for “press” covering HoCoBOE meetings. While I agree I am not “the press”…I do want to better understand why the Baltimore Sun and other news agencies get access but Scott E’s Blog is told no at the door…and how to have that not happen again in the future (if it is possible).
If anyone has any suggestions for me…let me know in the comments.
There will be one more public testimony session (but that might roll into multiple days based on some numbers I am hearing):
- Thursday, September 26, 6 p.m. (NOTE:Time changed from 7 p.m.)
- Families currently zoned for Glenelg HS, Marriotts Ridge HS, Reservoir HS, River Hill HS
- An additional public hearing has been added for Region III overflow only on Monday, October 7 at 6 p.m. Additional hearings for Region III overflow are being scheduled and will be added as soon as possible.