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Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!

The ruckus over the ruckus is back.

The D.C. Council voted unanimously yesterday to revive legislation aimed at quieting demonstrators in residential neighborhoods after tabling the measure in a narrow 7 to 5 vote in February.

The Noise Control Protection Amendment Act of 2008, which would limit noncommercial public speech to no greater than 70 decibels during the day, will now go before the council for an initial vote on May 6.

Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who had moved to table the measure in February, said he would offer amendments when the proposal comes up for a vote.

Evans and the slim majority of the council had delayed the vote to address the concerns of some labor unions that complained the legislation could infringe upon their right to demonstrate.

H Street residents, who had pushed for the legislation to hush street preachers in their neighborhood, have countered the council's actions by demonstrating in front of Evans's home.

Evans has also received criticism from Cary Silverman, his Democratic opponent, in his bid for reelection.

Silverman has jumped on the issue, sending out a media release yesterday: "It's unfortunate and sadly ironic that residents must take such extreme measures to have their voice heard on the Council," said Silverman. "This is a no brainer--legislation that addresses an issue of clear concern to constituents--and Evans keeps flinching, siding with powerful unions over residents."

At yesterday's council meeting, Evans said he will offer amendments next month to strike a compromise for the unions and residents.

By Nikita R Stewart  |  April 16, 2008; 7:20 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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