Councilman Cruz Seeks Ban On Targeted Picketing In Front Of Homes, Cites Nieves Protest And U.S. Capitol Attack

Jorge Cruz

If rowdy protests are your thing in front of someone’s home, take it at least 300 feet away. So says City Councilman Jorge Cruz.

He has submitted a resolution calling upon the City Attorney’s Office to draft language of an ordinance “Prohibiting Targeted Residential Picketing within 300 Feet of the Property Line of Certain Residential Dwellings.”

It’s not without precedent, he asserts, citing a U.S. Supreme Court decision see here that placed restrictions on targeted picketing in a Wisconsin town.

The genesis of Cruz’s call came in November following A clash between police and protesters outside the city council president’s house was averted Friday afternoon when a half-dozen officers ignored the taunts and walked away.

Placard-carrying activists, one with a bullhorn, in support of Black Lives Matter demanded defunding of police at a protest outside City Council President Aidee Nieves’ Park Street home. Signs were placed on the fence fronting her home. Nieves was not apparently home.

Cruz says something must be done to stem potential destruction, citing Trump-incited followers who attacked the U.S. Capitol with calls to hang Vice President Mike Pence.

“I’m not condemning the beliefs of protesters,” says Cruz. “I’ve protested as well. But don’t take to a person’s house where things can get rowdy and out of hand.”

The resolution is expected to be referred to the Ordinance Committee at Tuesday’s council meeting.

This meeting will be conducted by teleconference at 7 p.m.
The public may listen by calling the following conference line and then entering the conference code:
Dial-In Number: (929) 436-2866
Meeting ID: 381 083 245



  1. So, if or when I and my three Speedes go to protest we must go 300 ft. away. Let’s say we then land in front of Donald Day’s home. We have to then move another 300 f. away landing in front of Ron Mackey’s residence…

  2. LOL@Jorge..So Jorge wants to ban protesting in front of someone’s house?? He would rather the protesters walk 300ft away(in front of someone’s else’s house btw) and protest?? It doesn’t make any sense.
    Jorge,ask someone to look this up for you.Sidewalks are public property. The city maintains an easement on either side of a roadway. You have to maintain the sidewalk for instance you shovel the snow and mow the grass on the easement between the sidewalk and the street, but you cannon restrict the sidewalk’s use.
    Also, if the sidewalk is cracked and someone trips and falls, you can probably be sued, but bottom line is,the city owns the sidewalk,therefore it’s public property.

  3. Jorge,here’s a better use of your time,draft a resolution demanding Joe release the amount of money he has paid(or should I say,the taxpayers have paid) attorneys for himself and his inner circle in the midst of the FBI probe going on.How bout that??

  4. And while you are at it why don’t you ask Mark to draw up an ordinance that would require the city officials who violate FOIA rules to pay their own penalties?

  5. In other Bpt news,Joe was dodging the subpoena with everything he could do,even had his staff lying for him..Innocent people don’t dodge subpoenas..

    BRIDGEPORT — It took the better part of a month pouring through voter records, face-to-face rejections, numerous phone calls and even trying to contact Mayor Joe Ganim’s father before State Marshal Kenneth Lombardi finally handed Ganim the paper he had been asked to serve.

    In a sworn affidavit filed in Superior Court on Friday, Lombardi detailed the difficulties he said he faced in serving Ganim with a notice that the Bridgeport mayor will have to give a deposition in the civil case challenging Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia’s qualifications.

    From that first notice on Dec. 4 until the final hand-off Jan. 6, Lombardi worked to track down Ganim on behalf of three police captains suing the city contending Garcia wasn’t qualified for her appointment to assistant police chief.
    The case brought by the three — Capt. Brian Fitzgerald, Capt. Roderick Porter and Capt. Steven Lougal — is pending in Superior Court. As part of the case, the captains had Ganim served with a notice that he will have to give a deposition on the process that was used to select Garcia.

    Reading the affidavit is like watching a complicated game of chance play out.

    Lombardi picked up the notice from the plaintiffs’ lawyer on Dec. 4.

    “On Dec. 7, 2020, I attempted service upon Mayor Ganim (at the Margaret Morton Government Center) but was denied entry to the building due to COVID-19 restrictions,” he states in the affidavit.

    He next called the mayor’s office but was told by the mayor’s secretary to contact the City Attorney. Deputy City Attorney John Bohannon Jr. refused to accept service, the affidavit states: “(He) was told that he was instructed not to accept service for this subpoena by Mayor Ganim himself.”

    According to the affidavit, Lombardi then called the mayor’s office again but was told that no member of the staff or the mayor were present in the office and all members were working for home remotely.

    He left a message, the affidavit reads.

    On Dec. 8, Lombardi again called the mayor’s office to schedule service of the subpoena but received no return phone call; on Dec. 11, he called the mayor’s office to schedule service but without success, the affidavit states.

    “Next, I checked the voting record of Mayor Ganim which indicated he lived (in an apartment near the Fairfield border). I attempted service at that address that day, but no one came to the door,” he stated in the document.

    On Dec. 17, 18 and 27, he attempted to make contact there without success, the affidavit says.

    Lombardi said he then went to another address listed for Joseph Ganim, this one an apartment in Black Rock, according to the document.

    “When I went to the door, an individual who identified himself as a renter … indicated that Mayor Ganim did not live at that address, but he received his mail at that address,” he stated in the affidavit.

    According to the affidavit, Lombardi next called a phone number that was supposed to be the mayor’s. A man answered, but when Lombardi stated his business, he said the man told him he had the wrong number and hung up.

    “The voice sounded much like Joseph Ganim to both myself and my brother Edward Lombardi who was present with me. Additionally, the phone number matched the number he indicated was his on the legal voting record,” Lombardi stated in the affidavit.

    On Dec. 27, Lombardi again contacted the Mayor’s Office and spoke with the secretary; she told him she has been giving the mayor the messages and was told specifically that no one is to accept service of the document and she could not give him any information other than that, according to the affidavit.

    He states in the document he even tried to contact the mayor’s father to help him serve the mayor but got nowhere.

    Lombardi finally served the mayor on Jan. 6 at Luis Muniz Marin School.

    1. Harvey Weintraub, thanks, no one should be shocked with Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia’s action towards Capt. Brian Fitzgerald, Capt. Roderick Porter and Capt. Steven Lougal because the state marshall was lookng for Mayor Ganim to serve him legal papers from Fitzgerald, Porter and Lougal.

  6. First Amendment

    The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. It prohibits any laws that establish a national religion, impede the free exercise of religion, abridge the freedom of speech, infringe upon the freedom of the press, interfere with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibit citizens from petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted into the Bill of Rights in 1791. The Supreme Court interprets the extent of the protection afforded to these rights. The First Amendment has been interpreted by the Court as applying to the entire federal government even though it is only expressly applicable to Congress. Furthermore, the Court has interpreted the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as protecting the rights in the First Amendment from interference by state governments.

    Freedom of Religion
    Two clauses in the First Amendment guarantee freedom of religion. The Establishment Clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. It enforces the “separation of church and state.” However, some governmental activity related to religion has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. For example, providing bus transportation for parochial school students and the enforcement of “blue laws” is not prohibited. The Free Exercise Clause prohibits the government, in most instances, from interfering with a person’s practice of their religion.

    Freedom of Speech / Freedom of the Press
    The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech may be exercised in a direct (words) or a symbolic (actions) way. Freedom of speech is recognized as a human right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without government interference or regulation. The Supreme Court requires the government to provide substantial justification for the interference with the right of free speech where it attempts to regulate the content of the speech. Generally, a person cannot be held liable, either criminally or civilly for anything written or spoken about a person or topic, so long as it is truthful or based on an honest opinion and such statements.

    A less stringent test is applied for content-neutral legislation. The Supreme Court has also recognized that the government may prohibit some speech that may cause a breach of the peace or cause violence. For more on unprotected and less protected categories of speech see advocacy of illegal action, fighting words, commercial speech and obscenity. The right to free speech includes other mediums of expression that communicate a message. The level of protection speech receives also depends on the forum in which it takes place.

    Despite the popular misunderstanding, the right to freedom of the press guaranteed by the First Amendment is not very different from the right to freedom of speech. It allows an individual to express themselves through publication and dissemination. It is part of the constitutional protection of freedom of expression. It does not afford members of the media any special rights or privileges not afforded to citizens in general.

    Right to Assemble / Right to Petition
    The right to assemble allows people to gather for peaceful and lawful purposes. Implicit within this right is the right to association and belief. The Supreme Court has expressly recognized that a right to freedom of association and belief is implicit in the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Freedom of assembly is recognized as a human right under article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights under article 20. This implicit right is limited to the right to associate for First Amendment purposes. It does not include a right of social association. The government may prohibit people from knowingly associating in groups that engage and promote illegal activities. The right to associate also prohibits the government from requiring a group to register or disclose its members or from denying government benefits on the basis of an individual’s current or past membership in a particular group. There are exceptions to this rule where the Court finds that governmental interests in disclosure/registration outweigh interference with First Amendment rights. The government may also, generally, not compel individuals to express themselves, hold certain beliefs, or belong to particular associations or groups.

    The right to petition the government for a redress of grievances guarantees people the right to ask the government to provide relief for a wrong through litigation or other governmental action. It works with the right of assembly by allowing people to join together and seek change from the government.

    1. Jimfox, thanks, that last sentence sums it up.

      The right to petition the government for a redress of grievances guarantees people the right to ask the government to provide relief for a wrong through litigation or other governmental action. It works with the right of assembly by allowing people to join together and seek change from the government.

  7. In the case Jorge Cruz cited these were private citizens at a residence. I think the courts would look at it differently in the case of an elected official who had no office and yet expenses to the city a personal stipend that does not require documentation.
    Add on top of that since the council members do not have to attend public City Council meetings or committee meetings in this pandemic, where and how are the members of the public supposed to redress their city officials?
    You can give this to Mark or Chris M as a free legal opinion. I promise not to bill the city.

  8. I didn’t hear of any protests outside Danny Pizarro’s house complaining about the masses of people without masks partying the night away at his Trumbull home. Where’s the outrage at the Covid violations of the Ganim appointed $80,000 plus a year Bridgeport employee? Ah, maybe it didn’t matter because it way almost over “ANYWAYS”!!!!! Lol.
    Happy birthday Dan!!

    1. Rich, not sure what’s worse,Danny having the party with 300 guest in the house despite the pandemic,or his interview afterwards stating he could give a shit about what anybody says.I always knew he was a piece of shit.From the video that was posted,the people were packed in that house. If just one person was a carrier, I hate to think of how many were infected that night,not to mention all through this week with the guests going home and to other places.Danny’s “I don’t give a shit attitude is sickening.”. What an asshole.

      1. Yes and isn’t it amazing how he fits in his “city job” in between driving Mario and Joe around. I could come out of retirement for that job!! Not to mention the free food & cocktails!

          1. He doesn’t know all of it. He knows what he’s seen, heard and witnessed. They’d be complete fools if he were apart of their real inner circle. He enjoys his “position” as it makes him feel important. If Bridgeport was run on the up and up with true, caring, honest, and educated individuals- a thug like him would never have been anywhere in the scene including where he really is- in the background. Funny how he fits in with the rest of them. They all deserve each other.


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