I spent tonight at the city council meeting because I heard that they would be discussing permitting street musicians to play in the city. (…and it was hot and a really good excuse for not going to Aikido class, again. Sorry Isaiah).
Santa Rosa currently has a noise ordinance on the books that prevents playing music, or making noise with the intent to attract attention, anywhere in the city without an event permit, which would set you back $75 a day. (We found this out a couple years ago when we tried to play downtown and were greeted by police before we could take our instruments out of the cases).
The addition to the code discussed tonight would allow musicians and other street performers to obtain a free permit to play in the city as long as they obeyed some simple rules. The council voted unanimously, with one member absent, to approve the new permit. Aaron spent a lot of time working to get this done. (See Bohemian article here).
On the whole this is a lot better that the previous ordinance, if you can ignore the fact that we’re being asked to give up our first amendment right for the privilege of applying for a permit to express ourselves.