Orange County Tyranny: Freedom at Risk
In June, citizens delayed our Board of County Commissioners from passing an ordinance that would restrict free speech in Orange County. But only temporarily. On Monday, October 3, this matter will be on the agenda and the commissioners will attempt to pass the ordinance. This is our chance to stop them.
Yes, "tyranny" sounds extreme. Until you read the ordinance our BOCC is attempting to pass.
Here is what the publicly available draft of the ordinance says:
If passed, this ordinance will deem any single person, or group of people, who are found to be promoting or objecting to a policy, issue, or action, at or near a school or playground (including on private property) as criminal trespassers:
- Two parents gather to discuss a fundraiser: trespassing.
- A parent comes to school to speak with a teacher or principal about a concern for their child: trespassing.
- A few neighbors who live near a school come together for a barbecue: trespassing.
- A family gathering for a Fourth of July celebration at a local park that has a playground: trespassing.
Our First Amendment states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
By some twisted combination of ignorance and conceit, our Board of County Commissioners has been emboldened to make a law that will:
- Abridge freedom of speech.
- Abridge our right to assemble.
Many citizens in our county are well aware of the impetus for this ordinance. This ordinance was driven solely by the previous School Board, which had worked consistently and systematically for years to silence opposition to their policies and actions. (More on this subject will be published here, and presented to the board of commissioners, over the next few days.)
For now, I hope citizens in Orange County will take this threat seriously. This is ordinance will be a broad and sweeping violation of our constitutional rights.
Let's take action:
I urge everyone, once again, to engage the BOCC on this issue:
- Email the Board of County Commissioners, letting them know how you feel. (Please copy firstname.lastname@example.org to help hold the commissioners more accountable.)
- Come to the meeting on Monday, October 3rd (be there by 6:45 pm) and join what I hope will be dozens of citizens who are willing to engage our government and stop this eradication of freedom before it happens.
- Share this message on Facebook so that our friends, family, and neighbors can understand what is happening in our community.
Read the full text of the ordinance here.
You can view this information on the Orange County portal here.