AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION of COLORADOBoulder County Chapter Judd Golden, Chair 303-442-6355 firstname.lastname@example.org
June 14, 2012To: Boulder City AttorneyBoulder City ManagerBoulder City CouncilBoulder Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
Re: Proposed Limits on First Amendment Usage of Boulder Parks and Public Places
Boulder’s parks and public places are where people go to play, relax, socialize andsometimes, to protest, demonstrate, or march. The recently-rejected proposal by the BoulderCity Attorney to amend the Boulder Municipal Code to impose extensive time, place andmanner restrictions would severely limit the exercise of the constitutionally-guaranteed FirstAmendment rights of the public.The current proposal is summarized in an Agenda Item Memo to City Council of June 5, 2012, and is scheduled to be reviewed through the Summer and Fall. It makes a fewchanges from the earlier rejected draft, described in the Memo as: (1) clarification in thedefinition of the terms “demonstration” and “public assembly” to clarify that the regulationsgovern activities in city parks; (2) the addition of a permit exception for spontaneous events;and (3) the ability to apply for permits electronically.
The Boulder County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (ACLU) urges the Boulder City Council to reject this current proposal. Wepropose the City instead adopt a limited and narrowly-drawn no-permit reservationsystem ordinance that would allow a group exclusive use of a specific park or publicspace at a specific time for First Amendment activity. Public parks and the public willbe adequately protected by this system, and by the enforcement of existing ordinances.Background and summary
As you know, the Boulder County ACLU has long been an advocate for the public’sConstitutional rights to protest, demonstrate, and petition the government for redress of grievances without unreasonable government interference. In 2008 we persuaded the cityattorney’s office to instruct the Boulder Parks and Recreation Department not to improperlysubject political demonstrators near the Municipal Building to the regulatory limits of the