No news coverage of Navajo Council…or public access

Greetings Relatives/Frens/Humans, I just found out a few minutes ago that the Navajo Nation Council’s Naabik’iyati Committee is not being Live-Steamed on Vimero and Facebook, which I was told by Navajo Nation Council PIO Byron Shorty would happen because legislative staff are only allowing a limited number of people into the Naabik’iyati meeting, which is being held in the huge Department of Dine’ Education auditorium this afternoon.

I texted Mr. Shorty a few minutes ago and asked when the Naabik’iyati meeting would start. He had told me earlier, after I texted and called him, that Naabi meeting was running a little late.

I got a text from Navajo Times news reporter Arlyssa Becenti that Naabi had convenes but it was being boardcast/live streamed. It is now 2:30 pm and Naabi was scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. I finally got a call from Mr. Shorty after I called him a “liar” for not informing that the meeting would not be broadcast. As soon as he told me that I would have taken off to the Naabi meeting where I would have posted the Council debate and actions to keep everyone informed about what the Navajo government/Navajo Council is doing in the name of the Navajo People. But who knows if I would have been allowed into the meeting.

I apologize for making the mistake of believing Mr. Shorty, but I believed that he understood that at this MOST CRITICAL time in the lives of the Navajo people that the Navajo people, who he works for and the Council, have the RIGHT to KNOW what their PUBLIC OFFICIALS & POLITICAL APPOINTEES are debating and approving and disapproving and have that PUBLIC INFORMATION provided accurately and as it happens by news reporters, like myself, Arlyssa, and Farmington Daily Times news reporter Noel Smith, who have been on the frontline of the COVID-19 EMERGENCY as it happened.

When I arrived at the Navajo Council special session on Monday at the education auditorium to report on a $3 million financial package to address Navajo’s COVID-19 crisis, I was told by Speaker Damon’s Chief of Staff LaShawna Tso that the meeting was closed to the PUBLIC. My response was that I was the news media and we are protected by the FREEDOM OF THE PRESS law so I had every right to be in the Council meeting.

She told me to wait outside while she talked to Speaker Damon. I replied that I was not going to leave and she would need to have the Council – not Speaker or her – kick me out. She was clearly upset that I stood my ground. But I was not at the meeting to make friends or socialize, I was there to ensure that the constituents of the each of the 24 Council Delegates had as much information about what their PUBLIC SERVANT was saying as their representative and then how the Council as a whole voted. I have requested copies of the Council voting tallies which shows how each delegates votes or is excused or absent. Sometimes I get the voting tallies but most of the time I don’t. Those documents belong to the PUBLIC.

Well, now NO ONE except the Council, staff, and presenters will really know what happened behind closed doors. Mr. Shorty may issue a press release but at this point, I would encourage anyone to double check what he writes because POLITICIANS get voted in by POPULAR VOTE. News reporters are taught to double check every press release for accuracy.

May Peace Prevail on Mother Earth!!

PS – Mr. Shorty texted and apologized for texting my land phone, instead of cell, that the Naabik’iyati meeting would not be live-streamed. He said he has a screen of the text he sent to my land phone. But REALLY…how is it that the Speaker and his COMMUNICATIONS team didn’t know that there would be no live-streaming of a SPECIAL NAABI MEETING focused primarily on COVID-19.

One the Naabi agenda was a report on the closure of tribal parks by Division of Natural Resources. During the Council special session meeting Monday, Council Delegates Herman Daniels and Paul Begay were calling for President Nez to lift the closure so the vendors and tour guides could continue selling and providing their services to the Nation’s visitors who would travel from who know where, maybe a COVID-19 hotspot to the Navajo Nation. SMH

Just got another text from Mr. Shorty. Apparently, there’s a call-in line to listen but it’s only for delegates. But Mr. Shorty shared with me: 425-436-6361, access code 827648. It is now 3:45 pm March 18, Wednesday. He also sent memo with similar info for each of the Council’s committees. I’ll post as soon as I can. Peace Out!

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