REDDING, Calif. – On Tuesday, a crowd of people gathered inside the Shasta County Board of Supervisors chambers. People passionately pleading to county leaders lift coronavirus restrictions and resume in-person meetings.
Inside the chambers, many people stood together, with only very few wearing masks.
The virtual meeting opened to the crowd that gathered outside, demanding to have their voices heard in person.
One by one each person spoke their three minutes.
“How many children should starve in order for you to feel safe? How many families must go bankrupt in order for you to feel safe,” said one speaker. “How many business owners should lose everything they worked for in order for you to feel safe?”
“If you think this loud now, wait till you give us what we need and what we are rightfully owed. Representation,” said another speaker.
“Allowing people to come in and voice their grievances because there are many.”
Each response was met with applause
“I’m just here to support the people who local businesses who are going under and ask that you reopen Shasta County,” said another speaker at Tuesday’s meeting.
But just outside the Board chambers is a sign letting people know that the chambers are closed off to the public.
Tuesday’s meeting was the first official board meeting for Supervisors Patrick Jones of District 4 after he beat former Supervisor Steve Morgan in the November election.
Supervisor Les Baugh and Jones were the only two to sit inside the chambers with the crowd. While Supervisors Rickert, Chimenti, Moty, and other county staff remained online.
“We've been out here fighting since the very beginning with the board,” said Dwight Husted, who spoke at the meeting on Tuesday.
“We keep coming back week after week because there's not listening to us.”
“We do feel like we were heard and we're very proud of our community members that did come out and spoke,” said Kimmie Pullen another speaker at Tuesday’s meeting.
Back in October, the Shasta County Board of Supervisors reopened their chambers. But because of the surge in Covid-19 cases, the Board switched to a virtual format in November.