Podcast Recap and Listener Survey

We have two major pieces of news this week. First, you may listen to the latest podcast episode–a recap of our greatest hits–on iTunesStitcherPlayer FM, and right here:

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Second, we are launching our first-ever listener survey! What do you like about the podcast? What do you dislike? Please be gentle. But also, please fill it out: visit www.councilchronicles.com/survey and answer a few simple questions. Plus, tell us anything you think we should know about why you listen and what you want from the program.

On this episode, you will hear excerpts from these full interviews:

1. Interview #132: Troy, MI Mayor Pro Tem Ethan Baker (with podcast)

2. Interview #134: Berea, KY Councilwoman Emily LaDouceur (with podcast)

3. Interview #69: Daly City, CA City Manager Pat Martel (with podcast)

By the way, did you know that one year ago this week is when “Tear It Down” was released? In that time, thousands of people have listened and many have walked away with a newfound appreciation for the functionality of their own local governments. To hear the entire eight-chapter series and its colorful cast of characters, visit www.tearitdownpodcast.com.

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As always, City Council Chronicles’ sponsor is Dig Deep Research. They assist local governments in obtaining grant money and are eager to hear from potential new clients. Find out how they can help you today:

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Interview #134: Berea, KY Councilwoman Emily LaDouceur (with podcast)

This podcast interview is available on iTunesStitcherPlayer FM, and right here:

Emily LaDouceur has had a front row seat to several heated skirmishes during her mere four months on the Berea council. From responding to criticism of her attire to pushing an overhaul of the anemic ethics code, she discusses the forces in the community that are making her life difficult.

Q: What happened prior to the April 16, 2019 council meeting that led to your comments about leggings?

A: A man who ran for city council made derogatory comments about me being a big girl and why do I think I can wear yoga leggings? It was posted in a public but membership-only Facebook group. [Another member] posted a picture of me giving a tour of children in city hall. She had put a black smudge over my face and asked “what is this black cloud over Berea?” He made his comments below and it went from there.

Q: Okay, a school group. How many of the parents contacted you after the tour and said, “my child saw female legs today and I had to check him into therapy?”

A: That would be a big, fat zero. None. Nil.

Q: I don’t understand, though, how your tour went from school kids to “I’m getting hate mail for my trousers.” Was it just this one individual who has so much sway over perceptions of you?

A: I wouldn’t say they have huge sway. But hate always has some measure of following. It had nothing to do with my leggings, let’s be real. It’s about politics, where I am left-leaning and they are a very conservative group. And then some good old-fashioned misogyny.

Q: You turned the criticism right back around on your antagonists by posting on Facebook, “the outfit was appropriate….I’ll let you put on the outfit I wore that day…then you can put on the holy, stained T-shirt and oversized jeans worn by some of my colleagues to city council meetings. Report back to us which outfit is more ‘lazy and inappropriate.'” Why bring your fellow councilmen’s choices into this? You could have easily defended yourself without putting them down, yes?

A: Sure. I don’t see it as putting them down as just pointing out the double standard. Women are held to completely different and more stringent standards. I don’t care what they wear as long as they’re getting the work done.

Q: In what way did your council colleagues and the mayor disappoint you here?

A: By not directly calling out the hatefulness. It really is a hate group, and I don’t use that term lightly. There are five council members and the mayor who are members of that group. Progressives in town made a call for them to denounce the behavior of this group and to also exit it. Instead it was a whole lot of false equivalence.

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Berea, KY Councilwoman Emily LaDouceur

Q: You proposed a new council committee to review your city’s code of ethics. What prompted you to think that Berea could be more ethical?

A: We did have a huge blow-up that made statewide news of one particular councilman. He posted an inappropriate and misogynistic meme on Facebook and it was during the Kavanaugh [confirmation] hearing, speaking about the victim. At the following council meeting, there were I think 16 women and men who spoke and many people really laying their hearts on the table about their trauma. They weren’t asking for him to resign. They wanted reconciliation. They wanted an authentic apology. The problem was that in his apology, instead of really saying sorry, said his wife posted it.

Q: Mmmhmm.

A: All of the council members used their opportunity to respond by saying, “well, we have an outdated ethics code. We should probably revisit that.” When I started digging into the code, it is the bare minimum. It is probably, in the whole state of Kentucky, the most bare, basic, minimum code that is in existence.

Q: Where has the meeting footage of the ethics committee come from?

A: It came from my phone. My Facebook live.

Q: Do I understand that the only reason we know about a massive overhaul of the municipal ethics code is because one council member thought to press record on her phone?

A: Yes. I presented a laundry list of open meetings violations that our current council has been partaking in. There won’t be any discussion in council meetings. Most of the discussion happens in these committee meetings that are very poorly attended. They’re not recorded. Minutes are rarely taken. No one really knows what’s going on. I took it upon myself to bring up those things and some of them have changed. I’ve committed to recording as many of them that I can. I’m trying to record them so the public can see how these things are operating.


Follow Councilwoman Emily LaDouceur on Twitter: @EmilyForBerea

Podcast Recap: Spring Break Special

We are spending spring break at the beach this week, but you can listen to a “best-of” podcast episode on iTunesStitcherPlayer FM, and right here:

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On this episode, you will hear excerpts from these full interviews:

1. Interview #127: Baltimore, MD Councilman Kristerfer Burnett (with podcast)

2. Interview #129: Portsmouth, NH Councilor Nancy Pearson (with podcast)

3. Interview #67: Duluth, MN Councilor Noah Hobbs (with podcast)

4. Excerpt from “Tear It Down”

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As always, the podcast’s sponsor is Dig Deep Research. They assist local governments in obtaining grant money and are eager to hear from potential new clients. Find out how they can help you today:

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