Do you know that somewhere in this world, there is a city that actually proposed putting a
fence around their city for their independence day celebration? It's true. They also proposed requiring a sign-in
list for residents to enter their neighborhood. I know what you must be
thinking, but these weren't the tactics of an iron-fisted Stalin
or Hitler, this all happened right here in Newport Beach, California, in the United States of
America, for our 4th of July in 2003! Luckily for us, somehow reason
prevailed in the end, but it was this proposal that gave rise to FreeNewport!
HOW DID THIS ALL COME ABOUT? THE TIMELINE
- 1/17/03: Survey. On January 17th, the City of Newport Beach sent the infamous
"4th of July Survey" to thousands of registered voters in Newport Beach.
FreeNewport! opposes this survey due to the slanted accompanying letter signed by
Homer Bludau, our City Manager.
In this letter, Homer basically tells us how horrible the 4th of July has been in
years passed, and that a it's only a matter of time before a riot breaks out! The
survey then was attached on the following page.
Although there was mention of a "4th of July Committee", no details were
given on how to get involved...
- 2/13/03: FREENEWPORT! IS BORN!
- 3/3/03: Lolita Harper writes a good 4th of July article.
Click "LOLITA" to read her article.
- 3/9/03: Our future spokesman, Bryan Clarkson, replies to Lolita Harper's article,
with "Don't Oppress Independence (Day)", letter to the editor.
Click "INDEPENDENCE DAY?" to
read the letter to the editor.
- 4/15/03: Proposal. City Attorney, Bob Burnham, forwards a proposed "4th of
July" ordinance to the city council.
to read his recommendations.
- 4/15/03: FreeNewport hangs 4th of July Vote notification posters!
- 4/22/03: First Reading. On Tuesday, April 22nd, WITHOUT PUBLIC NOTICE, our
Newport Beach City Council UNANIMOUSLY passed the proposal on the first reading. Only
three people spoke up, including our own FreeNewport! spokesman. We delivered the now
infamous "Saddam Hussein Speech".
Click "OPPOSE" to read why we opposed
- 5/1/03: Petition. FreeNewport! circulates a petition against the 4th of July
law and accompanying alcohol storage ordinance, which yields over 1000 NB signatures
opposed to the proposals.
- 5/5/03: Letter. FreeNewport! sends a letter to each of our city council members.
Click "LETTER" to read it!
- 5/7/03: Alterior Motives? FreeNewport! publishes our alterior motives
page, questioning the true intentions of the city.
Click "MOTIVES?" to see our page.
- 5/8/03: Mailers. On Thursday, May 8th, FreeNewport! mails over 1000 postcards
to virtually every resident in the "Safety Enhancement Zone". The city also
sent out mailers to all registered voters in the area.
- 5/13/03: VOTE. On Tuesday, May 13th, after receiving our petition with over
1000 signatures, and hearing the testimony of over 20 residents opposed to the new law,
our Newport Beach City Council UNANIMOUSLY approved the new 4th of July ordinance!
Click "MEETING" to watch video
clips of your neighbors.
Click "PROCTOR" to watch our
West Newport rep, Gary Proctor, describe the results of their survey.
- 5/20/03: FreeNewport! finally chimes in. After much public prodding, FreeNewport!
releases our ideas for the 4th of July.
Click "IDEAS" to read our plan to manage
the 4th of July.
- June 2003: FreeNewport! begins working with the NBPD to ensure that residents
will not be targeted. Freedom Day promotions are cancelled.
- 7/2/03: FreeNewport! goes on the record in the OC Register stating that we are going
to trust the NBPD this year, and hope for the best.
- 7/2/03: FreeNewport! sends a letter to all city council members inviting them into
their "Safety Enhancement Zone" for a free cocktail at our 4th of July party.
- 7/3/03: FreeNewport! sends out our 4th of July
letter to all contacts on our Mailing List,
encouraging them to cooperate with the NBPD.
- 7/3/03: One of our two so-called "West Newport Reps",
goes on the record in the OC Register stating that the only long term solution is to get
rid of the renters!
- 7/4/03: The 4th of July Celebration is a success. Arrest rates are down by over 50%. Residents are happy with the cooperation from the NBPD, and the NBPD is pleasantly surprised
at the cooperation from the residents. Very few, if any, residents are arrested.
- 7/4/03: None of our NB City Council members stop by
our party in their "Safety Enhancement Zone" for their complimentary cocktail
(we think that Gary Proctor may have actually been at
home in San Jose).