Highlights of the Conference
Speakers: There was an array of speakers covering many of the issues of interest to our population, including electronic monitoring, legislative strategies, traveling as a registered individual, collaboration among organizations, the church’s response to folks on the registry, and others. They were very effective and informative. The first day closed with an excellent presentation by NARSOL board member David Garlock.
Legislative Meetings: Various conference attendees met with staffers from the offices of various legislators. In general, they were well received and listened to with respect and concern, especially about the ever-widening net created by the registry. We were surprised to learn that some of the legislators knew next to nothing about this issue; increased education on state and national levels is essential. On a positive note, some have requested follow up meetings.
Vigil: On the anniversary of the Smith v. Doe decision, which ruled that the registry was not punishment, a vigil was held on the steps of the Supreme Court. A coffin was carried in by pall bearers, and attendees were dressed as mourners. The names of many of those who have died as a result of these terrible laws were read. One man showed up on this VERY cold morning with no jacket in remembrance of a man who was turned away from a Salvation Army shelter because of his registration status. He froze to death that very night. After the vigil, many attendees offered their gloves, scarfs, and even their own body heat to warm him up, It was extremely impactful.
NARSOL board members Brenda, Don, David, and Paul attended a portion or all of the event as well as a dozen or more NARSOL representatives and members from at least half a dozen states.
Reactions most often expressed are, even though it is disappointing that more did not attend, the event was a success, and the hopes are that something similar will be repeated. Especially appreciated are the camaraderie, fellowship, and unity of organizations.
Members from a variety of organizations, including NARSOL, WAR, ACSOL, UV4SOR, and RAA, expressed interest in working collaboratively to plan an activity that the groups could work on together.
NARSOL thanks WAR for organizing this event and sincerely hopes that the plans for increased unity and collaboration bear fruit.
14 Thoughts to “The DC conference pronounced a success”
I think there needs to be a “NARSOL Conference News” section on the website, and more info on helping our fellow registered persons, etc. No offense, but having so much about the Conference on the home page gives me the impression that the board is tooting their own horns. I know this is not the case.
It always saddens me to see such negativity from other registrants.
I was at this conference. I had to get the permission of my PO to attend, but she granted it. This was the first conference of any kind that I had attended since before my incarcertaion 11 years ago. I am SO glad that I attended! As a person who is required to register, I can certainly relate to the speaker topics and personal testimony of others that were there. I was especially touched by two women who were there to support her incarcerated nephew and the other to support her soon to be sentenced son. I was amazed at the high quality of all the speakers. It was very motivational for me. So much so, that I am ready to engage more in this advocacy and activism. And I am also seriously considering attending the NARSOL conference in June although my PO will have a say in that as well. There were so many important points made at this conference one of which is that as a person who is required to register myself, I am a person who is closest to the problem and therefore very qualified to fight for the end of these draconian measures that are a part of the registry regime. I am grateful that organizations like WAR, NARSOL, Texas Voices, etc. exist and I am pleased to join the fight!
This conference was a smashing success! I was there for the entire conference and vigil, and I was very moved by the cooperation and unity that was achieved.
It was bitterly cold during the vigil, but I believe that we planted the seeds of thought in the minds of many passerbys. The capitol hill visit was also a success.
We need to do this more often – not just preach to each other, but we need to get the word out to the wider world.
Vicki Henry from WAR (Women Against Registry) understands that, and that is why she has organized marches and demonstrations like this.
In my opinion, we must continue to have a multi-faceted approach:
1) Education of ourselves and the public
2) Meeting together for encouragement
3) Legal challenges
4) Public protest
When you say they knew nothing about the topics that is fundamentally false. They know exactly how it works and how much money the states make on this system. This is exactly why nothing changes and our rights are violated.
It always saddens me to see such negativity from other registrants. If you follow our cause nationally you will have seen that things HAVE changed. Not at the pace we want, but there has been change. Maybes instead of wasting time making negative comments you may wish to invest it into letter writing campaigns or monitoring you local newspaper and commenting when they make incorrect or disparaging articles? .
I disagree, Jamie. Most legislators and staff members are too busy to give a thought to the registry. Their major concerns are of topics of importance to their constituants. So it is up to us and organizations such as NARSOL and WAR to keep educating them and to figure ways to get the subject on their radar. Whether they care after being educated is an entirely different subject.
A special thank you to all the organizations and everyone who showed up to attend the vigil and the other events surrounding the vigil, I was there on the Supreme Court with the coffin in remembrance of Smith v/s Doe and all the people who we represented it for. I was honored to be apart of the organizing for the vigil and I feel it was successful together we can be successful.
Were there any people at the conference who are not on the side of a sex offender?? I doubt it. The money spent at the conference should have been saved and piled up for the hiring of the biggest and most ruthless attorneys that money can buy. An Attorney firm that would take our case for the millions we could give them. An Attorney firm that would not be afraid to force the supreme court to defend our rights per the Constitution. Make them do THEIR JOB and defend our rights and the constitution. PERIOD.. This is the ONLY WAY we can win. Period…
Sorry that you are misinformed but lawsuits are NOT the only way to affect change. And where pray tell are these “millions” we could give the attorneys. Because if you can guarantee that fund I can guarantee you many attorney firms would be interested.
Think instead should be grateful volunteers (because that is what NARSOL is comprised of) took the initiative to change perceptions. A key element of our cause.
G. Pray tell the millions, could come from all of us combined. What a smart a$$ response you made to me. I am Not Misinformed but very informed. Been dealing with this for 35 years. How about YOU?? I am very grateful for the volunteers. Just looking to go a different route. Get an attorney that has cleared an Actor for a sex offence. And have them apply the facts that they use to clear popular people for the same thing that I was convicted as an unpopular person.
Extremely grateful for organizing this and plan to attend any future ones.
Any estimate on attendance on the vigil?
Did we make it on to any news outlets?
The estimated size of the vigil from what I heard that day was about 70 or so individuals.
There was not alot of media there but we have about 80 in attendance. It was one of the most moving expirences I have ever attended and so glad to I took the leap and attended the conference. We need to do this every year until the year comes that it is no longer needed. United we stand divided we fall and teamwork makes the dreamwork.