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What the Constitution Means to Me Closing on Broadway

A common interest or background should help you stand out. One of the most effective ways of making your voice heard in Congress is by setting up an in-person meeting with your representative. As a constituent of a state or congressional district, you are entitled to a meeting with the office of your representative or senator. Given that Congressional offices are busy places, addressing many matters and serving many interests, it can be helpful to organize with other constituents or coordinate with an organization and set up a meeting together.

Ideally if you can coordinate with an organization that has members in the district of the representative you are meeting with, your group will have more sway. More often than not, you will be meeting with staff members who handle legislative affairs instead of the representative or senator themselves.

Meeting with staff members is a valuable opportunity to share your concerns and get a first-hand account of where your elected representative stands on the Democracy for All Amendment and the issue of money in politics generally. Try to schedule your meeting as far in advance as possible. Prior to the meeting, you may want to come up with a plan and assign certain speaking roles in the meeting. Remember that a personal visit with a member of Congress can be a powerful way to demonstrate your interest in an issue or bill.

Review the area of discussion before the meeting so you have a thorough knowledge of the subject. During the meeting, speak clearly and be concise.

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Present the pros and cons of the issue, as well as detailed explanations as to why you support your view. At the end of the meeting, ask for favorable consideration of your issue and thank him or her for their time. To address an issue with a member of Congress by telephone, call the US Capitol Switchboard at , or use the main number listed for their House or Senate office. Speak to a staff member about your issue or concern; be sure to ask them to pass along your opinion.

With patience, you might also be able to speak to the member directly.

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Sample phone script, if your representative or senator has not signed on as an amendment co-sponsor:. If your senator or representative is already a cosponsor, you should thank them for their support. USPS mail was for a long time the most common means of communicating with members of Congress. Letters to them should be legible and concise. State the purpose of the letter in the first paragraph, support your positions in the rest of the letter, and conclude with a strong reiteration of your position. Stick to the facts, and if you are citing the Democracy for All Amendment make sure to include the bill numbers as follows:.

Remember to address how the issue of money in politics affects you and other constituents, using the talking points in this toolkit or from your own personal experience and insight. Faxing information is another common method of communicating with members of Congress.

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  • A fax receives the same attention as a letter sent by mail. Include your name and return address and ensure that both are legible. You should receive a written response from the member in the mail. Today, many members of Congress encourage their constituents to correspond by email. Although a member occasionally responds via email, more often you will receive an automatic acknowledgement that your message has been received, and then a written response in the mail that addresses the substance of your issue.

    About the Amendment

    Email correspondence should address the member as Representative or Senator, and should include your name and address; be sure to type them accurately. Many members use an online form for email instead of an actual email address. The form enables the member to capture your name, address, and the subject of your message in a database for future correspondence. Directories are available for the House and Senate.

    Many members of Congress have social media accounts, and tweeting at them or posting on their Facebook walls has the added benefit of being visible to other people. Using hashtags and additional Twitter handles helps raise the visibility of your tweets. Here is a quick video tutorial on how to make the most of your social media , produced by Free Speech For People.

    Click on the images below to share them on Facebook, or simply right-click and save them to your computer. Twitter If you are looking for an even quicker way to lend your support to an issue, you can tweet about it! Twitter is a powerful way to participate in conversations with people, organizations and businesses of all kinds around the world.

    The Do-It-Yourself Constitutional Amendment Kit

    Symbols of hate are also constitutionally protected if worn or displayed in a public place. Libraries should comply with the ideals and legal requirements of the First Amendment. We make room for offensive, bigoted, and biased speech in the libraries if that speech is simply that: just speech. All patrons are welcome and have the right to use the library free of discrimination and loss of individual safety.

    We cannot limit speech on the basis of its content alone, but we can address inappropriate or illegal behavior. A hate crime, however, is about more than speech or conduct. It is about specific criminal behavior. Examples include:. Reports of hateful speech and hate crimes in libraries is escalating.

    To that end, libraries and library workers should embrace equity, diversity, and inclusion in everything that they do. However, if library staff have encountered hate speech that may not be defined as a crime, we acknowledge that the impact can be traumatizing. Libraries Respond: Hate Groups and Violence in Libraries This resource focuses on responding to and preventing violence in libraries. Any effort to restrict free expression and the free flow of information through any media and regardless of frontiers aids discrimination and oppression.

    Fighting oppression with censorship is self-defeating. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation. Perspectives on Harmful Speech Online Essays published by Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society This collection of essays includes perspectives on and approaches to harmful speech online from a wide range of voices that highlights diverse views and strands of thought on the subject. How Federal Law Draws a Line Between Free Speech and Hate Crimes An article published by PBS Brief, general overview of how federal law establishes a line between protected speech and a hate crime, with links to historic and more recent high-profile cases regarding freedom of speech.

    Speech On Campus Resource by ACLU Although targeted to universities and student led speech and invited speakers, the positions hold consistent with library programs and collection of materials. Our schools, colleges, and universities must prepare students to combat this problem. That means being an advocate: speaking out and convincing others. Are you a legal professional? By submitting this form, you agree to Findlaw. We respect your privacy.

    The Do-It-Yourself Constitutional Amendment Kit

    If you're charged with possession of drugs , either for personal use or with intent to sell, a criminal defense attorney can determine which defenses might apply to your case. Some defenses challenge the stated facts, testimony or evidence in the case; others target procedural errors, and some defendants challenge drug possession charges on the basis of an affirmative defense. This article discusses drug possession defenses, ranging from the rare defenses, to the more common and familiar ones. The Fourth Amendment to the U. Constitution guarantees the right to due process of law, including lawful search and seizure procedures prior to an arrest.

    Search and seizure issues are common territory for drug possession defenses. Illicit drugs found in "plain view," such as a car's dashboard after a legal traffic stop, may be seized and used as evidence. But drugs found in the trunk of a car after prying it open with a crowbar, assuming the suspect didn't give permission can't be entered into evidence. If the defendant's Fourth Amendment rights were violated, then the drugs can't be used at trial and the charges typically are dismissed. A common defense to any crime charge is to simply say you didn't do it. The drug possession equivalent is to claim the drugs aren't yours or that you had no idea they were in your apartment.