Friday, May 5, 2017

Speaking to Legislators on History of Convention of States

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I forgot to share more details about a speech I gave last January. My Convention of States leaders had found out that our area state legislators were going to hold a Town Hall where the citizens could sign up to speak about their concerns. As many as 3 per group could sign up to speak for 3 minutes. My team contacted and asked me to be one of the 3. Of course! It sounded exciting!

So on a snowy day we headed out to the Town Hall.

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Here is the video of the Town Hall. Shellie spoke about what the Convention of States is (at the 1 hour 3 minute mark). I spoke about the history of Convention of States (at the 1 hour and 20 minute mark). Remi spoke about misconceptions about Convention of States (at the 1 hour 40 minute mark).

I used Rob Natelson's research for my speech. Mr. Natelson is a Constitutional scholar whose goal was to learn more about the least understood part of the Constitution. Through his research, he discovered that is Article V...the part that discusses Convention of States.

Conventions were quite common in the days of our Founding Fathers. I've read much about conventions in my studies of the 18th century, even the 19th century, particularly in Texas! I even see mention of them at many of the museums and historical markers that I visit here on the East Coast. Conventions were indeed common in the past. Rules were commonly understood. Even the citizenry understood conventions.

Natelson lists the following:
  • 20 conventions that met before 1776
  • 11 conventions that met between 1776 and 1787
  • 4 conventions, at least, that met since then, into the 20th century
More details can be read in Natelson's article "How Past American Conventions Inspired the Constitution's 'Convention for Proposing Amendments,' in The Washington Post.

I ran out of time to tell one fascinating story. The 22nd amendment (term limits on the president) came about not because Congress initiated it, but because a Convention of States movement, that was gaining momentum, motivated Congress to propose that amendment themselves.Thus the Convention of States has already proved beneficial in reining in one aspect of a powerful federal government.

Meanwhile, my daughter was waiting for a ride home from work. She kept texting me and I kept texting her back, because the meeting went overtime, then one of the delegates wanted to meet with our COS team afterwards. That was great! Then we were off to pick up my daughter.

My son works at the same place and the following week I was picking him up. When I walked in, the owner saw me and asked, "Miss Laurie, are you going to run for election?"

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The owner told me that my daughter had told him a few days ago that I was speaking to legislators. (That was the day she was waiting and texting to come home.) I'm not quite sure why he thought that I was running for public office, but it was funny and opened discussion about Convention of States...which was provided in Article V of the Constitution for We the People. The Framers meant for all of us to participate in this. We don't have to run for office. However we participate by signing the petition, and even signing up to volunteer at www.conventionofstates.com



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