Blue cards stir debate for Tompkins County Legislature

By Kelsey O’Connor
The Ithaca Voice

Photo from The Ithaca Voice
A look at the blue cards used by the Tompkins County Legislature for public speakers.

Should Tompkins County Legislature require members of the public to give their names before speaking? Some say doing so puts members of the community at risk and are asking Legislature to change the rules.
If you’ve ever spoken at Tompkins County Legislature, you know the blue cards. Before members of the public can speak during public privilege of the floor, speakers are asked to fill out a blue card that outlines the rules for speaking, including a three-minute time limit, and asks that speakers write their names and municipality. The cards are collected by the clerk.
Recently, several people in the community have voiced concerns about being required to share their name to speak, saying doing so in some cases could impact people’s jobs or put them at risk in other ways.

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