SALT LAKE CITY — If you’re a big “Parks and Recreation” fan, you probably remember the scene where Patton Oswalt attempts to block a Pawnee city council vote by filibustering the council with an epic "Star Wars" and "Avengers" rant.
This week, a woman from Livingston County, Michigan, followed Oswalt’s lead and delivered a portion of his nine-minute filibuster during a Livingston County Board of Commissioners meeting to make a point about the board’s decision to stop publicly broadcasting meetings.
Bridgett McDowell took time during Monday’s meeting to participate in a “people’s filibuster” and delay action that would limit government transparency in Livingston County, according to Michigan Live.
In her first time slot, McDowell talked about the finer points of hand-lettering, displaying signs saying things like, “Hello! We are watching you!”
During the second call for public comment, McDowell stood and began quoting Oswalt’s epic “Parks and Rec” filibuster, according to Michigan Live.
Oswalt’s filibuster, which aired in 2013, was entirely improvised and imagines the Star Wars universe crossing over with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to ComicBook.com.
You can listen to part of it here:
At a county board meeting in Michigan, resident quotes @pattonoswalt's Star Wars filibuster from @parksandrecnbc until her three minutes is up. pic.twitter.com/K5cQvMesRD— Lauren Gibbons (@LaurenMGibbons) February 26, 2019
According to Michigan Live, many citizens who spoke in the meeting just wanted the option to watch public meetings from home again. The Board of Commissioners began recording and posting meetings online in 2017. The first six-month contract for the recording service was renewed in April 2018, but was dropped by a three-commissioner panel vote of 2-1 when the contract expired.
Board chairman Donald Parker said the move to end broadcasts was more to address the question of whether $8,000 spent on the taping was worth the low viewership than it was a transparency issue.
“We are a county of around 190,000 people,” Parker said. “If you take a look at the viewership on a monthly basis, it averaged to just slightly over 100 people per month.”