Councilor David Knight is a lawyer by profession. But, you would never know that based on the things he doesn’t understand about democracy.
On August 20, 2022, Councilor David Knight sent an email to the Chair of the Midtown CAC (Citizens Advisory Council) telling him that he will not meet with the group and will not consider any input from the group in his decision-making on one of the biggest rezoning cases in Raleigh because he does not consider them to be legitimate. In the email Knight said:
“As to Z-67-21, the MCAC or individuals saying they represent the MCAC weighing in has no impact or influence on my decision. All other comments, recommendations or advice from individuals & organizations do impact my decision, except of course, Livable Raleigh and anyone representing them.”
We here at Livable Raleigh have developed rather thick skins and are not really bothered that Knight refuses to interact with us. But, to treat the members of the MCAC with such disrespect, residents who are some of the most active, involved and engaged in Raleigh is unforgivable.
Read the email here:
I addressed this issue during Public Comments at the September 6 City Council meeting as follows:
Councilor Knight, in July you didn’t uderstand Freedom of Speech.
Now you don’t understand “All Men are Created Equal”
In your email to a CAC, you refused to meet with them or consider their input because you said they are not legitimate after you disbanded them.
You defunded CACs. You don’t have the power to disband them. They exist. They are legitimate organizations. They are your constituents.
It may not be evident to you. But, the founders said:
We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.
As a lawyer, you should understand the basics of democracy better.
Georde Orwell warned us about politicians like you in his book “Animal Farm” when he wrote this line for the pigs who controlled the government:
“All animals are equal. But, some animals are more equal than others.”
Maybe Councilor Knight prefers “Animal House” over “Animal Farm” and thinks he has put CACs on “Double, Secret Probation”.
This isn’t the first time Knight has displayed his ignorance of the basics of democracy. At the July 5th City Council meeting Knight questioned the City Attorney about the 1st Amendment and Freedon of Speech. He wanted to regulate what the public could write on a sign to display at City Council meetings. And, try as she might, the City Attorney could not make Knight understand that he could NOT regulate political speech.
This was after the council, Knight included, had just changed the rules for bringing signs into council meetings to limit their size from the current 36 x 36 inch size to a new 18 x 18 inch size. Rendering them impossible to read on TV screens since they also reserved the 1st 8 rows of seating behind the podium where the TV cameras are aimed, for staff only.
Watch Knight arguing with the City Attorney in this video clip:
If you don’t get the reference to “Animal House”, watch below as we re-enact Councilor Knight thinking he has “kicked the punks of the CACs out of Raleigh”
Tim Niles, Member, Livable Raleigh Editorial Team
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