Free and equal citizens do not go to their public officials, bowl in hand à la Oliver Twist, and beg, “Please, sir, may I have some more?”

Free and equal citizens have a right and a responsibility to hold their public officials accountable.

When I attend a school board or a city council meeting my time at the microphone during the public comment period is limited. And while I might have a lot to say I prepare what I have to say in light of the practice of that particular board.

So, too, do we limit the amount of time anyone may speak at the Nehemiah Action Assembly. We respect the time of our members. Furthermore, all public officials have been given in advance every question he will be asked.

Public officials have ready access to the media. The people of Charleston Area Justice Ministry have been preparing since August for one meeting, one chance to ask public officials to either support or reject the solutions we have researched and are now proposing.

Mayor Keith Summey, Chief Eddie Driggers and Chief Greg Mullen should join Mayor John Tecklenburg on April 18.

Claire Curtis

Felix Street

Charleston