Saturday, August 9, 2014

Topic: Activism Lawmakers and the Media

Activism, Lawmakers, the Media and Lobbying:

There are four sections below. Each is a learning experience which you will not find elsewhere. Tutorials, tips and tricks by the best Advocates we know of. Now, some advocates have not written Tutorials but that doesn't mean they cannot help you in your search for ways to effect changes in sex offender laws of the day. Simply ask them for their advise on whatever topic you are seeking. You can scroll through everything below or use the links to jump to a specific section. Should you find bad links please let us know.

Have we missed an Advocate's work? If so please let us know so we can add links to them as well.


by Derek W. Logue: So you want to be an Activist?
Are you tired of waking up every morning afraid of the next legislation targeting you? Tired of harassment by neighbors, police, and self-styled vigilante groups and websites? Many people are tired of the uncertainty in their lives and wish to fight back, but they do not. There are many reasons why most people impacted by sex offender laws. Many of us fear retaliation. Others simply feel like they are alone in wanting to fight, and many others sit and wait for someone else to fight for them. Others do just enough for themselves and quit when their personal circumstances improve. We are at times our own worst enemies. ...Continued...

by Mary Sue Molnar: Texas Voices via RSOL Website:
Differentiation: Education is the Key

There is a huge difference between stealing a candy bar from the local convenience store and robbing a bank. Both crimes are considered theft. Both are DIFFERENTIATED by law. Not so for sex offenses. Until the general public is able to DIFFERENTIATE the facts, legislators and public officials will continue to introduce “feel good” laws affecting no-risk/ low-risk sex offenders and their families. Unfortunately, facts are seldom revealed by the media, resulting in a lack of understanding concerning public opinion.

Actually, many who promote and enforce “tough on sex offender” legislation seldom conduct the research necessary to justify their actions. Texas Voices group members unanimously support and recognize the need for educating the public. Therefore, our members offer the following “education” suggestions with the hope of helping individuals and groups reform sex offender laws. ..Continued..

From The Community Tool Box: A service of the Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas.
"Organizing for Effective Advocacy" This is rather amazing.


Contacting Lawmakers:

It is important to know who your representatives are in Congress (the Federal Level) and those in your state, these are the folks you contact when you want to urge them to vote one way or another on legislation that may affect you. Here we are providing a few possible links to accomplish that, just in case one or the other is not working.

Contacting Congress:

Contacting State Lawmakers:

eAdvocate's Links of U.S. Congress and Everything Congressional:

Bills in Congress Affect State Sex Offenders

Ultimately federal laws trickle down and affect state registrants and many state laws. This is why registrants of state registries need to be aware of what is happening in Congress that affects them.
Now if you are so inclined to want to watch bills on the federal level yourself, then goto Thomas the website of Congress (Posted daily). It is not to hard to navigate but it may take some getting used to. And soon that site will change as they have developed a more helpful site HERE (Note: Currently this site is a day behind in posting).
REMEMBER THIS: What happens in Congress WILL trickle down to every state, so never ignore what folks in Washington are doing, if you do it will eventually bite you!

Bills in State Legislatures Affecting Sex Offenders

OK, what about each individual state? Honestly we do not have enough staff to monitor what happens in every state legislature, so you will have to watch YOUR state. Here is how you will find your state legislature, click and a map will be displayed, then CLICK on your state.

State Advocates: Active with their Legislatures
State Advocates: If your state is not listed and you know there is an Advocate monitoring your State laws, please contact so we may list them. Thanks.

Illinois: Illinois Voices
Michigan: Citizens for Second Chances
Nebraska: Nebraskans Unafraid
Oklahoma: SOSEN
Texas: Texas Voices
Virginia: It's Time to Reduce, Reconstruct, Reclassify, Rethink and Reform the Virginia Sex Offender Registry

RSOL State Chapters/Affiliates Site: (If you are a RSOL State Chapter/Affiliate and would like a separate listing here please contact

The Media:

by Derek W. Logue: “Your 15 Minutes: Making the most of your media moment”
This is to help reform activists prepare for a variety of media interviews, for print media (both Internet and traditional paper media), radio and television (including online video interviews). The media is a powerful tool for promotion; however, interviews can be an intimidating experience. Thankfully there are a number of techniques you can utilize to better prepare for the interview experience.

This article addresses the typical forms of media interviews, the interview style to beware, and how to identify and address interviewers with hidden agendas. Also included are various techniques you can utilize before and during the actual interviews, such as practice interviews, body language exercises, and preparing brief talking points. ..Continued..


by National Conference of State Legislatures:
How States Define Lobbying and Lobbyist w/State Lobbyist Laws

by RSOL Lobby Handbook: A concise guide to effectively lobbying your government leaders
RSOL is not just a lobby group. The primary purpose of RSOL is to influence public opinion about the growing national hysteria concerning sex offenders and deviant sexual behavior. Specific strategies include promoting research, publishing articles, and writing letters to the editor to demand that real protection of children from sexual harm be coupled with civil liberties for all people concerned, including alleged sex offenders.

We also support changing or amending existing laws that violate the rights of offenders and do nothing to protect children, especially those that humiliate and shame offenders, those that criminalize consensual sex among adolescents and young adults, those that restrict the residences and employment of offenders, and those that continue to incarcerate offenders who have completed their sentences under so-called civil commitment. We urge our state groups to propose such amendments and also to oppose new, Draconian legislation. ...Continued...

Articles about RSO's and Lobbying:

In 2014 Missouri introduced a bill to require a Lobbyist, if they are a registered sex offender, to list that on the lobbyist forms when registering as a Lobbyist. There is much more to this story..

Unfortunately one Iowa fellow got himself into trouble in 2013. It is important to know the Lobbyist Laws of the state you live in, and if you must register as a lobbyist, then make sure you complete the paperwork properly. As you will see in the following story, he did not have to register as a lobbyist. Read and understand what mistakes he made so you do not fall into the same traps.

Sex offender's lobbyist job leads to arrest (Iowa 4-3-13)

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Michael Byars' effort to modify the state's sex offender laws was a case study for effective citizen activism at the Iowa Legislature -- right up until last week, when he was arrested and fired from his job. Byars, 24, of Davenport has been the driving force behind legislation allowing sex offenders to have their lifetime parole sentences lifted under certain circumstances.

But now Byars, himself a registered sex offender, faces up to two years in prison. The reason: He didn't update the state sex offender registry to reflect his voluntary, unpaid and, so far, largely successful attempt to convince lawmakers to change the law -- something his attorney calls a big misunderstanding.

It's a deeply personal issue to Byars, who was convicted in 2008 of lascivious acts with a child following what he describes as a short, consensual relationship with a 13-year-old high school freshman while he was an 18-year-old high school senior. The conviction landed him on the state's sex offender registry and saddled him with a lifetime parole sentence that requires him to check in regularly with a parole officer and stringently limits his interaction with children, including his own son.

The bill he's pushing would allow individuals in so-called Romeo-and-Juliet cases to seek an early discharge from lifetime parole sentences and has won what some Capitol insiders describe as a stunning series of legislative victories.

The bill has already cleared the Senate and won committee approvals in the House -- procedural milestones lobbyists sometimes work years to achieve on an individual bill. That he's made such progress on legislation making life easier for convicted sex offenders makes his success all the more incredible.

"He's gotten this bill all the way through -- it's funnel-proof right now," said longtime lobbyist Marty Ryan, referring to a legislative deadline Byars' bill has met. "That's something many of us can't do." ..Continued Here..

For now, have a great day and a better tomorrow.
(BACK to the Top Page)

No comments: