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Norman City Council Member Kate Bierman's lawyers respond to Unite Norman cease and desist letter

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Katie Bierman (copy)

Ward 1 city councilmember Katie Bierman speaks at a forum at City Hall in February 2019.

On behalf of Kate Bierman, lawyers have sent a message to Unite Norman saying the group’s cease and desist letter to Bierman is not only offensive, but also “essentially a threat to silence.”  

On Sept. 15, Unite Norman, the organization behind the campaign to recall mayor Breea Clark and four other city council members, released a cease and desist letter asking Ward 1 Councilmember Kate Bierman to abandon her decision to “dox” the people who signed their names on the recall petition.

The Facebook post said petitioning the government is a constitutional right and those who signed should not be punished for their actions, as it would put a “chilling effect on democracy” and endanger the lives of 30,000 citizens. 

The initial petition only received enough signatures for one of the five recall elections to be instated, due to many of the signatures being found invalid.

Bierman said in a Facebook post these allegations are not only untrue, but have no evidence to support them, in response to Unite Norman's allegation the city council is doxxing those who signed their name on the petition. 

“Your instruction to ‘Cease & Desist’ is a farce at best,” Bierman’s lawyers said in the Facebook post response to the email. “You have no authority whatsoever to direct anyone to cease and desist.”

Bierman said she is working as a citizen of Norman to provide other citizens with an easy way to receive information that they already have access to in a public record.

“We are transcribing each name and address on the petition into a keyword-searchable PDF file, because currently to see your name on the handwritten petition, you would have to scroll through each page to find it,” Bierman said. “If there is a ‘John Smith on Berry Road’ on the petition and you did not sign it, you can get in contact with us and we can get the names removed from the petition.” 

Bierman also said without this keyword PDF, it is impossible for some residents to even check this. 

“If you are an individual with a vision impairment, it is impossible to access those files, because there is no voice-to-text of a handwritten PDF,” Bierman said.

Bierman also said that she is trying to be as transparent as possible with this process.

“Anyone and everyone will be able to see exactly how much money we raised and exactly where we spent it," Bierman said. "And considering what has happened in the last 30 days, that is something Norman residents deserve."

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