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Did anyone here enter the lobbying industry with their law degree?

Discussion in 'Other Governmental Matters' started by palmtreesoasis, Aug 4, 2020.

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  1. palmtreesoasis

    palmtreesoasis Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    US Federal Law
    Can any mass of people congregate in a public park, setup some speakers and listen to an orator speak about politics, for example? Is this protected by the right to peaceful assembly? I'm talking about non-pandemic times, btw. Thanks for any help provided.
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    I've seen people speaking all the time in New York City parks for a variety of reasons, exercising their freedom of expression such as dance or music in Central Park. For many years I lived right next to the 72nd Street Concourse and you'd see a jazz band play regularly at the entrance to the crossing (west side across from the Dakota) and dancers, drummers and others would congregate at Bethesda Fountain. And you'd also have your host of speakers there too who might talk about issues relating to politics, local city and resident concerns, etc. You can choose to speak and, if people want to listen, good for you.

    If you're expecting a larger group, you should obviously not set up near the roadways where increasing numbers of people could create an issue. Better to do so in areas such as the Naumberg Bandshell, where there is much more open space. I'm unaware of any law that prevents you from expressing yourself and having people randomly deciding to stay and listen to what you have to say.

    If you're talking about a planned peaceful assembly outdoors, you may want to look at the New York City Parks Department General Provisions Section 1-03. If you're planning an event in a New York City park, such as an outdoor birthday party with 20 or more people present, the New York City Parks Department actually requires a permit to be filed. There is also a New York City parks special event frequently asked questions page which is similar. I've never heard of anyone actually applying for small parties or events or having it being enforced - but it could be as those are the park regulations. There may be others of which I am personally not familiar.

    For a place of assembly (which is can be an outdoor area that is adjacent to a building but not necessary in a park but on a roof, outdoor area for a restaurant, etc.), the New York City department of buildings may govern and has a place of assembly guide.
     
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  3. palmtreesoasis

    palmtreesoasis Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for your informative response, as well as the helpful links provided. The specifics of the matter are whether or not a permit is required for a group to peacefully assemble in Washington Square Park to listen to a public speaker on a microphone.

    A Parks Special Event Permit is indeed required for when an "Applicant is seeking use of a sound device permit when the event would include a stage or video screens."

    I'm curious as to how difficult it is to obtain this permit. Washington Square Park is obviously one of the more bohemian parts of the city, so I'd imagine there'd be less red tape than other districts.
     
  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    When you contacted the city about this, what were you told?
    Heck, I'd bet you can even find information on their web site.
     
  5. palmtreesoasis

    palmtreesoasis Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I haven't contacted them yet. Which website are you referring to, the one for the locality that contains Washington Square Park?
     
  6. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Yes, contact the municipality in which the park is located. They will be able to advise you on what needs to be done. The same information may already be on their website.
     
  7. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    You are seeking the use of public space which someone else may be planning to use at the same time. It is common to require a permit, granted on a first come first served basis. Depending on the expected size of the event other arrangements may be required, which as portable restrooms, medical staff, etc.
    It is less about civil liberties and more about public health and safety.
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Special Events Permits : NYC Parks

    If you desire speakers:

    http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_perm...es_and_pdfs/NYPD_Sound_permit_application.pdf

    If you as an individual or small group want to protest or distribute flyers, have a demonstration or rally on a public sidewalk, and do not intend to use amplified sound, you do not need any permit. You do not have to notify police or other local government authorities ahead of time, but can if you want to.

    Know Your Rights: Demonstrating in Central New York
     
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  9. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    The OP wants to set up speakers.

    EDIT: I suppose that, based on the actual wording of the OP, he could mean "arrange for people to speak" as opposed to setting up amplified devices ;)
     
  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If she/it/he/them/they/other follows the either link, many options are disclosed.

    Or, read on all:

    Do I need other permits too? If you want to have amplified sound, you'll need a permit from the local police precinct. When you receive a Parks permit, including permission from Parks to use amplified sound, use NYPD’s Sound Permit Application http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_perm...es_and_pdfs/NYPD_Sound_permit_application.pdf. You're also responsible for obtaining any necessary clearances or permissions for the use of intellectual property, including but not limited to musical or other performance rights for the stage.
     
  11. palmtreesoasis

    palmtreesoasis Law Topic Starter New Member

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    If so, what has your experience been in the industry? Thanks for any information or advice provided.
     
  12. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    I've been involved in some lobbying and grant writing / funding projects. In the circumstances where my law degree helped was specifically in lobbying to Congress regarding proposed Internet advertising related regulations. The connection with law is immediately apparent. In other non-legal related grant writing efforts (related to cultural and community endeavors) it helped with identifying loosely worded specifications and in obtaining a full and complete appreciation of requirements.
     
  13. palmtreesoasis

    palmtreesoasis Law Topic Starter New Member

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    A paralegal recently told me that "lobbying and litigation are related -- suing to strike down the bad statutes and regulations and to defend the good statutes and regulations that one helped write." Do you know if there is a type of lobbying in which the lobbying firm works hand-in-hand with a voter awareness group, for example? As in, does having a direct mutually beneficial relationship with a voter awareness group strengthen the lobbying firm's ability to influence legislation, as well as succeed in litigating statutes that the voter block finds undesirable? My assumption is that government representatives would be more inclined to listen to a lobbying group's requests if they knew there was a significantly sized voter block that actively works to vote together for representatives of their legislative interests, in addition to the lobbyists' efforts.
     

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