12 January 2007

KingCast watches as Nashua School Board First Amendment case nears resolution; James O'Brien's "American Lawyer" manuscript 1.0 pt. II.

Overall, it has been a pleasure to work with the Nashua School Board on reconstructing its viewpoint-based public comment speech restrictions. As my year-in-review post and James O'Brien's biography will show, I have led a life touched in equal measure by pain and charm. From the lower-middle-class roots in Cleveland Heights to the scholarship high-dollar prep school education and law school, to clerking for lawyers like Terry Gilbert and on to the Ohio Attorney General's office, to private practice in Civil Rights, to being threatened with arrest at Columbus School Board meetings, to winning acquittal and settling lawsuits for clients like Jerry Doyle and Michael Isreal when they suffered such arrests, to license suspension for a year, to fighting corporate behemoth American Tower Corporation, to an appointment as NAACP legal chair and a bogus attempted felony extortion claim all indicates.

But honestly, right now -- to rebound from the nonsense and baseless attack on NAACP authority in Jaffrey to work with city officials like Fred Teeboom, Sandra Ziehm and Attorneys Stephen Bennett and Dennis Hogan on crafting new First Amendment protections for public speakers -- this is my proudest moment. We will be gathering funding to refocus KingCast on the developments in Nashua, so that we can help Nashua lead the way in crafting suitable speech regulations for the rest of the country in this burgoening area of law that Mr. Doyle and I visited nearly a decade ago.

I am finalizing some language for Attorney Hogan to present at today's 2:00 meeting as noted here; and I hope that no one comes to the Board to use the sort of language used by Mr. Rosenfeld in New Jersey as noted here.

********

From the forthcoming book, "American Lawyer: Christopher King is a Dangerous Black Man," a quote lifted from upset American Tower brass and picking up with my parent's declining marriage:

"They danced so well together that I thought they would never be divorced," King said, "but strange things happen in life, as my career indicates. "In some ways" he continued, "it undermined my faith in humanity but then in others it led me to recognize the value of impermanence."

Law school allowed King to sink into something other than sadness over his changing family.

"Best three years of my life," King said, nonetheless. "I learned so
much. I met so many cool people. I went to so many art openings. I heard so much different music. I loved it."

During his time at Case Western, King clerked for then Attorney General Terry Gilbert - "a high profile civil rights lawyer." He started a group called the Education Coalition and took to the streets in the summer of 1992, imploring Cleveland kids to stay in school.

"I've been out there," King told Marsha Lynn Bragg of the Cleveland Sun Press in August of that year. "I'm young. I'm not a movie star or a basketball player. I'm just an ordinary guy who recognizes what needs to be done in order to survive in this day and age."

King worked with Case Western professor Ted Mearns on documenting Civil Rights abuses, and came to cherish the contact. Mearns was an implementation attorney and had helped see Brown v. the Board of Education through implementation hurdles throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Gilbert's office brought King a meeting with radical civil rights lawyer William Kunstler. The man who defended Martin Luther King, Abbie Hoffman Lenny Bruce, Stokely Carmichael, and Native American members of the American Indian Movement made a deep impact on King. It was a contact he would keep during his time in Ohio.

"I became known to Bill Kunstler on a first name basis," King said. "So I could call his office for help on occasion when I practiced Civil Rights."

**********

It is nice to be back doing what I should be doing, improving life in the Community.

1 comment:

Christopher King said...

An email from the Mayor:

Keep up the good work Chris!

Bernie

**************

And one from Policy Chair Kwan:

Dear Mr. King,

I would like to make two corrections to your
information posted on your blog today. First, the Policies committee is meeting today, not the full Board of Education. Second, I did not receive any
information about a lawsuit that you mentioned was sent to the school board. I have checked all of my e-mails and bulk e-mails for the past two weeks.

Thank you.

Edwina Kwan
Chair, Policy

My response:

Dear Ms. Kwan:

It was a pleasure to present to the Policy Committee today. As I noted, this is the sort of activity that Dr. King would surely appreciate.

As to your concerns, I will correct the board vs. policy issue.

However, on the matter of the lawsuit draft, this is the distribution list I just copied; check with the others and see if they received it:

(Her email address appears in the distribution list as efkwan@yahoo.com)

***********

PS: On further review, I see no need for any correction; there is nothing misleading about my comments.