An Open Letter to Our Mayor and Members of Council:
I was out peacefully gathering ballot petition signatures on public sidewalks today in front of two different public libraries. Each time I was told to leave. I was told there is a new policy that residents may no longer gather ballot petition signatures without a written letter of permission from the City Manager.
I am writing to you to find out if this is, in fact, a new (or newly-publicized) policy, or if it is a miscommunication, or if the City Manager is over-reaching his authority. It is difficult enough to get candidates on the ballot in Virginia without additional barriers. As a citizen, voter, and taxpayer, I feel my civil rights are being trampled on if I need to get written permission to exercise my political rights peacefully on public property. Please advise.
Click here for the City's initial response and here for my reaction and here for the initial resolution plus here for the (hopefully) final resolution.