The Los Angeles City Council voted on Tuesday to crack down on protests that occur outside people's homes.
The council voted 12 to 2 to approve an ordinance that bans picketing within 300 feet of a targeted residence. The previous law forbade such actions to occur within 100 feet, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The ordinance also permits anyone who is “aggrieved” by the picketing to seek as much as $1,000 for each infraction, the Times reported. Those parties can reportedly file claims against any individuals who violated, conspired to violate or suggested violating the regulation.
The law was reportedly passed without discussion. It will now face a second, procedural vote from the council.
Sari Zureiqat, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said the new ordinance will make it more difficult for protesters to voice their messages to those who need to hear it most.
“The city is saying, ‘if you want to target someone’s home, you have to be a football field away from either side,’” Zureiqat said, according to the Times. “This could be around the corner or really far away.”
He also questioned if the council had explained to the public why the extra distance was needed.
“My first thought is, is this ordinance even necessary?” Zureiqat said, according to the Times.
The approval of the ordinance comes after left- and right-leaning protesters have targeted public officials at their Los Angeles residences, the newspaper reported. The demonstrations have reportedly focused on mask mandates, rent forgiveness and other matters.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric GarcettiEric GarcettiBass officially enters Los Angeles mayor's race Rep. Karen Bass to run for mayor of Los Angeles: report LA councilman launches run for mayor with focus on those who are 'barely holding on' MORE (D) on Wednesday said First Amendment rights “aren’t about targeting private citizens’ residential areas,” according to the Times.
When asked if he would back the law, he said he first had to read it.