By Deborah Lee on July 16, 2015
Today’s post comes from Deborah Lee, the Oregon State Director for the Convention of States Project.
Our Federal government is the biggest intrusion into our everyday lives (and I’m not just talking about the recent Supreme Court decisions). We are fortunate that the Framers of our Constitution left us a solution to our badly overgrown federal government.
Article V of the U.S. Constitution states that 2/3 of the state legislatures can call for an Amendment Convention. It’s a high bar, and intentionally so, but not too high if the need is great. The need is great and it’s clear that Washington D.C. will not fix itself.
We are hearing the beginning of a national debate on amendments which would rein in the size and scope of the federal government. Mark Levin has proposed 11 amendments in his book The Liberty Amendments. Levin’s book is a great read. Michael Farris is the head of our Convention of States Project and he has proposed other amendment ideas. I challenge you, dear readers, to consider your own amendments.
Convention of States – Who’s In?
So, 2/3 of the state legislatures equal 34 states. The Convention of States Project is working in a grassroots style to make an Article V Convention happen! We have four states that have approved their applications; Alaska, Georgia, Florida and Alabama. There are 32 states that are “in-process” this legislative season, and two that will file in the near future. That many states filing the same exact application is historic! Our goal is 40 states.
Oregon’s application is SJM 6. Sen. Brian Boquist is our Chief Sponsor. Sadly, our bill got stuck in the Senate Rules Committee and died there last week when the legislature adjourned for the session. However, we have learned a lot, and have changed our focus to lay the groundwork for the next legislative session in Salem.
Grassroots, Homeschool Style
Our strategy is to pass all 40 state applications in a grassroots, homeschool style of building public support. Grassroots, homeschool style is adults who don’t know how to lobby, but get in the car and go to the capital with their kids and learn by chatting with their legislators. Grassroots, homeschool style is adults who don’t know how to teach a topic, but they roll up their sleeves and sit down and study until they can explain it to their kids. And Grassroots, homeschool style is adults who know the power of prayer, the power of the old fashioned phone tree, and the power of calling your friends and family to explain the problem and what is needed to solve the problem. Homeschoolers did this in the battle against HR6 in 1994. (You can read about that battle here.) I was not homeschooling then, but my nephew and niece were. That might have been my first call to a legislator. I was scared, but I made the calls for them and their parents. I did it and so can you. Now we need to do it again. The good news is, we now have new technology like email, Facebook, Twitter and text alerts to make it a lot easier than phone and fax trees.
Michael Farris is also a Constitutional lawyer and a homeschool father of 10 children. He is the founder of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), who along with Michael Smith, have fought for homeschool freedom in all 50 states over 35 years. Michael Farris and Michael Smith led that fight to defeat HR6 back in 1994. Today homeschoolers can educate their children in relative freedom because of their steadfast efforts.
How to Help Oregon get On Board
So, how can you help? First, listen to Mark Anderson’s interview with Michael Farris this weekend on the I Spy Radio Show. I can’t wait to hear it. Michael Farris is a fabulous speaker. (I have heard him at many a homeschool convention over the past 19 years.) Next, go to ConventionOfStates.com, and read and sign the petition to our Oregon legislators. We need a minimum of 100 signatures in every Oregon legislative district, especially those in Portland, Salem and Eugene. Thirdly, roll up your sleeves and sit down to study until you can teach this, simply, to someone else. It should be the length of an “elevator pitch” (as much time as you would have in an elevator with someone else to persuade them of your idea). Practice your elevator pitch to your spouse and your teens. Then make the pitch to your friends, neighbors, co-workers. We need every one of them to make this happen. We’re still early in the process but here in “liberal Oregon” we’ve already had more than 3,300 signers but we want thousands more to join to make Salem listen.
If you want to do more, we could use more District Captains. A District Captain’s main job is to get 100 people to sign the petition in their home legislative district. There is a job description you can read if you go to ConventionOfStates.com, click on “Get Involved” and “Be a Leader”.
If everyone does something, we will make this happen, even in Oregon! I can’t wait to see it happen! Will you please join me?
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Contact: If you’d like get involved in Oregon, Deborah Lee can be reached via email (email@example.com). You can also sign the petition, whether you live in Oregon or anywhere, by heading to cosaction.com.