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Consider underlying support for proposed picketing bylaw

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Andrew Fischer of Lombard Road, a Precinct 6 Town Meeting member, submitted this opinion column.

I write to urge everyone to start considering Article 14, to see if the town will vote to amend Title 1 of the town bylaws to add a new provision to prohibit any person to engage in picketing focused on a particular residence in the Town of Arlington. This article was inserted by the town manager, after many neighbors asked for relief from repeated demonstrations focused on the governor’s house.

The vote may be as soon as Wednesday, April 24, or Monday, April 29. It’s a challenge, because most of us are quite leery of any restriction on First Amendment rights. The law underlying this bylaw, however, has already been approved by the U.S. Supreme Court, in 1988. 

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Ways to strengthen Town Meeting member precinct outreach

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UPDATED March 28: The Envision Arlington Civic Engagement Group, a town government organization charged with fostering a civically active community, provided this appeal to Town Meeting members and friends.

We are writing to share with you a report with recommendations for how to strengthen Town Meeting member precinct outreach.

In January, the civic-engagement group was the host for two forums whose primary goal was to share ideas for strengthening engagement between Town Meeting members and their constituents. Almost 50 meeting members and residents participated in the forums; they shared dozens of outreach methods they arey employing and offered even more suggestions for how to make outreach more effective.

We have produced a report capturing all the ideas provided by the forums' participants. These ideas are both specific and practical. Many can be applied right now as we approach the season of precinct meetings and Town Meeting. Read the report here >>

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