Statement from Councilwoman Laura Pastor on City Employee Private Expression of Free SpeechStatement from Councilwoman Laura Pastor on City Employee Private Expression of Free Speech<div class="ExternalClassED7F873F4D8E47C199F507F0C978C38A"><div>“I am pleased that the Phoenix City Council voted unanimously this week to make critical changes to the City Code that protects the Free Speech rights of City employees. Upholding the basic Constitutional rights of our employees to participate in political activity – something which they have been denied for far too long – is something that I believe is vital to our democracy and the freedoms we hold dear. <br><br>This change actually brings the City of Phoenix more into line with the Federal Government, the State Government, and several other cities around the state and across the country. And just like all of our rights granted by the Constitution, they must be made equally available no matter where we work.<br><br>If those employed by the City of Phoenix are free to exercise their Constitutionally-protected rights, then I believe that our workforce community is made stronger. We can be seen as a friendly place to work, where rights are protected and engagement is encouraged, no matter one’s political affiliation.<br><br>I have always strived to be considerate of the opinions of others. While I may not always agree with them, I will always advocate for individuals’ rights to express their opinions. We as leaders cannot stand in the way of the rights of others just because we may not like what they have to say. We should in fact fight for their right to say it.”</div></div>9/28/2016 3:00:00 PMDavid Urbinato602-495-5405