January 15, 2021
SAN CLEMENTE, CA — First Amendment Voice stands with the many voices raised against the political violence at the Capitol building and other areas around the country on January 6th. While we steadfastly champion freedoms of expression, assembly and the ability to petition the government for grievance, we denounce those who would use violence as a weapon against the pillars of democracy due to an election outcome. As the Joint Chiefs of Staff recently announced, “We witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law. The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection.” The rioters, due to ignorance, arrogance, or some combination, have endangered the very rights they professed to defend. The First Amendment allows citizens to express themselves, assemble and petition the government for grievance. It does not afford the right to push through barricades, loot and destroy property, or endanger the lives of others.
We mourn the loss of life, including police officers in the line of duty and others, due to violence and call on leaders to settle grievances at the ballot box and through legal means. The country faces myriad health and economic challenges without need for self-inflicted losses from illegal mob actions.
We celebrate the thousands of heroes across the country who monitored the election, volunteered at the polls, served in the courts during legal challenges, and many other civic functions. These unsung citizens stepped forward during an international health crisis, despite the risks, to play their role in shepherding our democratic processes. Civic engagement is daily work, not something that occurs only during elections. Thank you for leading by example.
We express gratitude to our elected leaders, military, first responders, and countless others involved in safeguarding our democratic process and our citizens. Stay resilient and keep moving our country inexorably toward the aspirations outlined in the Constitution.
First Amendment Voice (FAV) is a non-profit, nonpartisan movement created to bring awareness, provide education and promote advocacy for citizens to exercise their First Amendment freedoms of religion, expression, press, assembly, and petition while encouraging citizens to understand, protect, and exercise those rights through ongoing programs and partnerships. Our board consists of veterans, lawyers, clergy, different ethnicities, genders, faiths, and three different generations.
Learn more about FAV at www.firstamendmentvoice.org. Subscribe to our free newsletter or YouTube channel to see previous programming. Inquire to [email protected]
Citizenship is not a spectator sport!
Thanksgiving conjures feelings of gratitude. We celebrate this time of year thinking of all we are thankful for, even during hard times like the current health crisis and other challenges. Personally, I have been grateful for the lack of travel during the last eight months. It has offered the opportunity to learn more about my new home town, including co-sponsoring two special Candidate Forums to help voters be more informed at the polls. Over 800 people had a chance to participate live or watch the videos prior to casting their ballots, allowing FAV to live out our tagline that “citizenship is not a spectator sport.” I am grateful to the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce for inviting us to be a co-sponsor.
As an organization, FAV is grateful for our members who invest in our programming to help reach a broader audience. We offered a free Difficult Conversations workshop to members last month. Based on a special request from University of San Diego, we programmed another workshop in December during the student recess. Basic members and above are welcome even if you have participated in Kern’s amazing workshop before. I’ve done it five times, and I’ve learned something every time! Kern leads us on a journey of self-discovery in our relationships and ourselves. Send an email to [email protected] to inquire about registration. We’ll let you know if we have a slot or put you on our waiting list.
With Deep Gratitude!
Steve & the FAV Team
Save the date!
September 16th-18th is a national weekend of prayer for the nation commemorating Constitution Day.
If you can’t be there, make sure to TUNE IN to the Live Stream on September 17.
This year, JOIN First Amendment Voice in Philadelphia for a national forum where stakeholders can become involved in advocating for our First Amendment Freedoms. Engage with other like-minded leaders from across this nation in vital discussions and hear from key leaders and defenders of the First Amendment. The forum will include a high-level Town Hall Forum and conclude in celebrating our Constitutional ideals.
If you are a FAV stakeholder already, you get a discounted admission of $79. The regular registration is $149 after August 15th.
Register here today.
Join @1st_Amend on Twitter for discussions on our First Amendment Rights with hashtag #OwnYourLiberty on September 4th and Sept. 11th at 8:00pm EST.
Date: Sunday, Sept. 4th and Sept. 11th 2016
Time: 8:00-8:30pm EST
For added perspective on the challenges of policing and interactions in African American neighborhoods, FAV recommends Jill Leovy’s Ghettoside book. Leovy adds a new voice to understanding a way forward for America with respect to police forces and violence.
Read the LA Times book review here to learn more: