Sonoma Valley Sun


Sonoma Supervisors bombarded with hate speech, cancel online comments

Posted on September 18, 2023 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Public comments into the weekly Sonoma County Board of Supervisors meeting were so racist and hateful last week that the board will stop allowing all comments by Zoom. 

The public can still watch the proceedings online, but will have no option for verbal input. Public comment will remain part of the in-person process at the Santa Rosa meeting.

“Sorry to limit public access in this way, but our last meeting was intolerable,” said Supervisor Susan Gorin. 

Supervisor Chris Coursey, Board chair, said the boardmembers were subjected to “a series of disruptive racist and hate-filled comments.” Because of the anonymous attacks, verbal public comments will now be limited to those attending in person at Sept. 19 Board of Supervisors meeting. 

The problem had been escalating, officials said, but peaked on Sept. 12. 

“I and my board colleagues are committed to free speech and open public dialogue, but that does not include racist, anti-semitic and personal attacks that only spread harm,” Coursey said. “We will not allow our public meetings to be hijacked with the clear intent to disseminate hateful, racist or blatantly offensive speech.”

The changes are necessary to enforce the Board’s adopted rules of order and decorum and ensure that such meetings is reserved for the Board to complete County business.

Members of the public who wish to address the board during the Sept. 19 regular meeting must attend the meeting in person in the Board Chambers at 575 Administration Drive, Room 100A in Santa Rosa. Members of the public may watch or listen to the meeting on Legistar, Zoom or phone, but will not be able to comment virtually. 

The public is also invited to submit comments to [email protected].

Members of the public may watch or listen to the meeting using via livestream or Zoom. Details

Spanish translation available.


One thought on “Sonoma Supervisors bombarded with hate speech, cancel online comments

  1. I had to leave the meeting before general public comments, because they were running behind on the agenda. Many of us wanted to speak on the latest SDC developments. I then listened to the meeting as soon as it was available on video. One of the speakers spewing anti Semitic hate was not so anonymous. He is known to many of us and the BOS also knows who he is. If and when this person opens his planned businesses in District one, I assure you I will be leading the boycott to make sure he fails. Hearing what he and others were saying broke my heart. Such hatred should have no place in our community.

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