Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson isn't done talking to the state Legislature about his seven freedoms.
The mayor, who called a press conference last month criticizing lawmakers for policies on guns, liquor, gay adoption, sex education, wages, air quality and late-night dancing, now plans to invite all 104 state lawmakers to seven Town Hall meetings beginning in late September or October.
The initial gathering, which will include the public, will focus on gun laws and will likely be held at the City Library auditorium, Anderson's spokeswoman Deeda Seed said.
During his press conference, dubbed the "freedom from unreasonable public policies restricting personal choices and harming public health" confer- ence, Anderson decried the state's lax gun laws and noted many juvenile gun offenses are only class B misdemeanors, the same penalty people face for littering or letting the weeds grow too high in their yards.
Asked if House Speaker Marty Stephens, R-Farr West, who has frequently sparred with Anderson in the media, would be welcomed at the Town Hall gathering, Seed said, "Of course. We're going to welcome him with open arms. We're inviting the entire Legislature."
The Town Hall meetings are a softer, more inclusive approach for Anderson. He was criticized for his press conference, which many said further alienated the Anderson administration from state lawmakers.
"My experience is that you get a lot more done when you talk with people than when you hold press conferences and yell at them," Councilman Dave Buhler said then.
On Tuesday, Councilman Eric Jergensen said the mayor's new effort to include the Legislature was disingenuous after the press conference, which coincided with the annual National Conference of State Legislators, which met in Salt Lake City.
"He basically criticizes everybody and then invites them to the table to discuss issues. That's backwards," Jergensen said. "That type of dialogue is always important . . . but not after you criticize everybody with different ideas. In the interest of diversity and tolerance it seems to me that all ideas must be valid."
Seed said she didn't know which issue Anderson would take up after guns but promised all seven freedoms would receive their own Town Hall meeting. During the press conference, Anderson indicated his goal is to effect change and get the laws he disagrees with changed.