Sunday, November 8, 2015

City of Sacramento Officials Unlawfully use Twitter

Back in September I submitted a public records request to the City of Sacramento asking to get a list of all the individuals blocked or muted on Twitter by the Mayor and Council Members.  On the 6th of October I received a response from the city informing me that most of the accounts in question were considered private.  You can read the full response here.

Below I've provided an analysis of four of these so-called private Twitter accounts that include those maintained by Council Members Angelique Ashby, Rick Jennings, Steve Hansen, and Eric Guerra.


Angelique Ashby is currently the District One City Council Member for the City of Sacramento, however, just two weeks after I received my response Ashby announced her plans to run for Mayor of Sacramento.  Ashby even used her Twitter account to make the following announcement:

I reviewed Ashby's tweets through the beginning of September 2015 and discovered that she uses her Twitter account to post tweets that are public (i.e. the tweet is related to her official position), campaign related, and retweets that promote religion.  Angelique Ashby's Twitter account is a great example of how the public/private boundaries easily get blurred When Public Officials Tweet.

Below are just a few examples I found of Ashby's public, campaign, and religious tweets.  You can click on the date to link to the tweet.

Public Tweets:

Campaign Tweets:

Religious Tweets:


I reviewed the tweets that Council Member Jennings posted through the month of September 2015 and found that, basically, ALL his posts relate to his elected office.  Here are a few:


I reviewed the tweets of Council Member Hansen through mid-October 2015 and found his posts consist of both public statements and campaign promotions:

Public Tweets:

 Hansen even uses Twitter to respond to constituents:

Campaign Tweets:


I reviewed the tweets of Council Member Guerra through the creation of his Twitter account and found his posts consist of both public statements and campaign promotions:

Public Tweets:

Guerra even uses Twitter to acknowledge support pertaining to his actions in public office from constituents:

Campaign Tweets: