In October, the city of Claremont and the local Chamber of Commerce put on an arts and crafts fair in downtown, but according to the Claremont Police Officers Association, members of the union were not allowed to hand out fliers at the event regarding the association’s position on contract negotiations. A lawsuit has now been filed against the city and the Claremont Chamber of Commerce that argues both entities violated the association’s free speech and right to assemble.
Curious what the flier actually says? You can see a copy here. In large font at the top it states: “Why is [the] City Council Gambling with Your Safety?” It urges residents to call the city council in order to make public safety the top priority.
According to the lawsuit, the Association’s president was denied space at the fair and members were told they could not hand out fliers. But the chamber counters that booth space was already booked up and that the city’s police chief did not want fliers handed out in front of the police department’s booth, which was offered as an alternative option. In a statement, the Chamber of Commerce notes, “The CPOA was simply asked to follow the same rules as everyone else and to remove a table from an unauthorized area.”
Notably, the council imposed an increase in retirement contributions by 6 percent in October. In response to the higher contribution rate, the Association filed an unfair labor practice charge and also filed a writ of mandate to obtain salary information for the city’s top officials. You can read the lawsuit here.