Reporting Laura Cole
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Two Sacramento business owners told to take down their signs may be on the verge of victory after filing a federal lawsuit.
The city is now considering changes to its sign ordinance after the couple said their First Amendment rights were violated.
“I think we should be able to advertise everything,” said Elizabeth Fears.
Elizabeth and her husband, Carl, own Got Muscle. After the city of Sacramento threatened to fine them if they didn’t take down their A-frame, or sandwich, signs, they filed a lawsuit.
“Cheapest form of advertisement is sandwich signs,” Carl said. “We don’t’ have the dollars. We are a small business. It’s family-owned, so we have to find small ways to get the name out in what we are trying to do.”
The city says it received a complaint, and that’s why they told Got Muscle to take down its signs, even though thousands of businesses display them daily.
The city told CBS13 in May, “If we stopped at every A-frame sign, we wouldn’t get 10 blocks from our office ever. So we have other issues. We prioritize everything by health and safety issues, so A-frame signs are pretty low on the list.
But since the Fears’ lawsuit, the city has put the issue on the agenda, and they’ll consider allowing the signs.
And their effort is getting the attention of others.
“I think it’s great for them, and I think it’s great for all businesses in Sacramento already.”
Roy Gonzalez with Signs Now uses A-frames too. After he heard of the Fears’ lawsuit, he reached out, expressing his appreciation.
“I think it’s going to make it where everybody can market on a more equal basis.”
And people like Roy are a sign to the Fears, that they’re building the muscle to hopefully change the law.
“I think it’s great, because we filed for all small businesses not just for our businesses, and all we want is a dollar in return. It’s about the principle,” Carl said.
The item will be discussed at next week’s City Council meeting.