STATEWIDE BILL OF RIGHTS DEFENSE RALLY
Wednesday August 20, 2003
Oregon State Capitol Steps in Salem
900 Court Street NE, Salem, Oregon 97301
We are so close in many ways to passing Senate Joint Memorial 7, a
resolution supporting the Bill of Rights by opposing parts of the UPA
(U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act) and other post 9/11 federal orders.
We have support in the Senate. We have bi-partisan support, and a
Republican sponsor. We must show our legislators that we, the people want
the legislature to act on this issue before adjourning . Please, no
anti-Bush or anti-Ashcroft signs. We are more concerned with opposing the
UPA and winning back our freedoms than making personal attacks. We also
want to be respectful to those Republicans who are supporting our efforts.
Please come to Salem on Wednesday, August 20 to rally with us on the
Capitol steps. After the rally, we'll proceed into the House of
Representatives to lobby those citizen legislators. Never lobbied before?
Don't worry about it. We'll have our newly experienced pros guide you
We also need for you to send testimony to the legislature, so your voice
may be heard on this issue. Below, please find information about how to
testify. Please put your name, bill number, and date in the upper right
hand corner of each page. The bill number is SJM 7. To read the
Testimony should be sent to Patricia Nielsen. Email:
Patricia.Nielsen@state.or.us Address: 900 Court Street NE Room S-438
Salem, OR 97301.
Don't delay. Send your testimony today! And please join us on Wednesday,
August 20 to stand up for your Bill of Rights!
Carpool information: In Eugene, cars will leave from the Safeway Parking
Lot at 18th and Oak at 10 a.m. and at the Doubletree Hotel parking lot near
PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY.
How To Testify Before a Legislative Committee
Committees are the heart of Oregon's legislative process. The committee
process provides legislators more opportunity to closely study a measure
than would be possible in a floor debate. Committees may hear from many
people who support or oppose the measure.
Giving public testimony before a legislative committee can be an exciting
and fulfilling experience if you are prepared.
Your testimony may influence the committee's action. It also becomes part
of the permanent record and may be used in future research.
Listed below are suggestions to help make your presentation successful.
a.. Know Your Audience
The members of the committee are "citizen legislators." They care that
you have taken time out of your day to come and testify before them.
a.. Be respectful.
b.. Don't accuse committee members of causing your particular problem.
c.. Resist the temptation to scold, put down, or insult the decision
makers or other witnesses. This tactic will likely alienate them from your
a.. Know the Issue
Support your personal opinions with as many facts as possible. Be
knowledgeable of the "other side of the story." You may be asked to discuss
the differences. Draw from your own knowledge and experience.
a.. Be Familiar with the Committee Process
a.. Know the location of the building, the meeting room, and the
b.. Agendas will be posted outside the meeting room. Check to make
sure the measure you are interested in has not been removed from the agenda.
The measures may not be heard in the printed order.
c.. If possible, attend a committee meeting before you testify to
become familiar with the process and room layout.
d.. When you arrive at the meeting, sign the witness registration
sheet. Witnesses are not necessarily called in chronological order.
a.. Presenting Your Written Testimony
1.. When you are called to testify, give copies of your testimony to
committee staff before you begin your presentation. The number of copies
requested is printed on the bottom of the committee meeting agenda.
2.. Begin your presentation by addressing the chairperson first, then
members of the committee. "Chair___, members of the committee . . ."
3.. For the record, state your name, address, and the organization or
group you represent.
4.. State whether you support or oppose the legislative measure being
heard and briefly explain. Do not read your testimony to the committee word
for word. Prepare an outline.
5.. Keep in mind you may have a ten minute version of your testimony--be
prepared to summarize it in one minute--that may be all the time you are
6.. Thank the committee members and offer to answer any questions.
"Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. I would be happy
to answer any questions."
7.. When a member asks you a question respond: "Chair ______ ,
Senator/Representative (state name), the answer to your question is . . ."
8.. Relax! The members understand that this can be an intimidating
experience--they don't expect a perfect presentation.
Bill of Rights Defense Committees of Oregon