Event Recap: March 20 Reading in New York City

I was proud to stand with fellow speakers and an audience of 200 people during our Monday 3/20 reading and discussion of the Constitution, our new Declaration of Independence and the 1776 original. Our New York City event was a successful beginning to challenge various policies and practices of President Trump and his administration.

We focused on provisions of the documents addressing free speech, free press, freedom of religion, due process, equal protection, impeachment, the emoluments clause and the 25th amendment. We got further inspiration from a live performance the Stop Shopping Chorus’s “First Amendment Song.”

Speaker Linda Staci said, “An evening like this, with human to human interaction on something as vital as our very freedom, is how together we can stop the threat. And make no mistake –– we’re being threatened.”

Two of our goals for the evening were (1) to heighten public understanding of the relevant provisions of the documents and help people to create a roadmap to effectively challenge President Trump’s policies and practices; and (2) to foster and reinforce hope that our challenges will be successful. I think we accomplished those goals, and we are stronger for coming together. There’s more about the event here in the Amsterdam News: “Declaration 17 holds inaugural public reading.

Michael Hardy, another speaker, said Declaration 17 “is a perfect vehicle for reminding all persons and American citizens in particular of the importance of our rights.”

Anne Klaeysen, our co-host from the NY Society for Ethical Culture, told the group, “we who love the United States – and fear for the future – must engage in the demanding work of civics.”

You can help us build toward a third vital goal: To hold more events around New York and around the country. If you are interested in organizing or hosting a reading or similar event, please contact us at [email protected] or by phone at (347) 907–0867. The further we spread the word, the better.

To watch a video of Monday’s event online at the Society for Ethical Culture’s website. Go to www.nysec.org/video-2017-03-20-040000. We are planning to edit the full video down to 15–20 minutes, so allies and local groups can use it in programs to continue the discussion across the country.

We welcome and encourage your comments and suggestions. Declaration 17 is approaching 900 signatures and we know that reaching 1,000 will build even greater momentum. So please keep sharing the website through your Facebook, Twitter and email.