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Good afternoon, Commissioners
When many of us met with you or your staff on September 1st, you were very supportive
of the right of volunteers to engage in political free speech, including voter registration,
issue advocacy, and campaigning for political candidates, outside of courthouses and
libraries. You agreed that at non-polling places and at all facilities on non-election days, as
long as volunteers were not blocking entrances, exits, or access in any way and as long as
all items were removed at the end of their shifts, volunteers should be allowed to conduct
their political campaigning with tables, chairs, signs (placed only on the grass), coolers, and
We have now received the County Administrator's new proposed guidelines for the use
of County Facilities on non-election days, including shockingly a new permitting
requirement. We are appalled by this proposed restriction of free speech and
electioneering at county facilities. This proposal is unacceptable! County property should
belong to the citizens of Broward County, and to propose unnecessary barriers to
campaigning, issue advocacy, and educating the public is just plain wrong. It should be
incumbent on government to make face to face electioneering easier, not harder. The
downside of this proposed restriction on the opportunity for free speech, especially political
free speech, clearly outweighs whatever reasons are behind this new proposal. We trust
you will reject these proposed requirements and allow volunteers, candidates, and elected
officials to register voters, introduce themselves, educate the public, and discuss issues and
receive input directly with our neighbors, without the barriers that are being proposed.
We therefore ask that you support the following guidelines at non-polling places and on
non-election days outside of county facilities:
Use of County Property/Facilities outside of the Election Process:
` Volunteers have the right to address matters of significant interest to the public.
` No commercial speech or activity.
` Volunteers may not charge for any activity.
` Volunteers may not block entrances, exits, or access in any way.
` Volunteers may not damage County property or disrupt County operations in any
` Tables, chairs, coolers, and umbrellas are allowed for personal use only.
` Signs may be held, affixed to tables, or placed on the grass next to tables; signs may
not be placed on trees, fences, or buildings.
` All items (including trash) must be removed at the end of the day.
` No tents, canopies, sound amplification devices or similar items may be used without
` Volunteers are responsible for any damage.
` Volunteers must comply with state, and federal laws, and local rules, regulations, or
Please let us know that you will support the above proposed guidelines for volunteers
outside of County buildings, rather than the County Administrator's proposed restrictive
permitting requirements. We have been told that this matter will be on the Commission's
November 8th Agenda. Please let us know if you would like to meet with us before that
Please let us know. Thank you again for your support.
Barbara Miller, Alan Ehrlich, Barbara Effman, Alex 1ohnson, Betty DiMaio, and