Watching

Wasilla City Council: A Reading

A comparison of a dramatic reading of a Wasilla, AK, City Council meeting and a big, (self-) important legislative body: the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

"Can't we just say it was everybody plus Linda?"

A dramatic reading of a transcript of a Wasilla, Alaska City Council, by actor Chris Schneider.

What's most remarkable about this meeting isn't the cartoonish bickering about refreshments and writing instruments, nor is it that that bickering takes up most of the time. What's remarkable is that despite all the other back-and-forth, the Wasilla City Council accomplishes all of its goals and wraps up the meeting in a little over five minutes. Of course, it's easier to be efficient when you have one item of new business, but considering most of the meeting is spent on the subject of the unofficial refreshment fund, the councilmembers deserve some credit for pulling it together.

"Other people are here for principle, and that's what I stand on."

In contrast, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, where you can have spent tens of thousands of dollars to get elected; you can conduct your meetings with the assistance of computers and microphones and human aides; you can adopt a formality of speech similar to all big, (self-) important legislative bodies; and you can talk uninterrupted for six minutes, and when your motion "dies for lack of a second," stomp out of the meeting like a big baby.

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