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July 28, 2011 Mayor Mack and members of City Council, We have experienced interference from city employees

as we were gathering signatures on the recall petition at a public event for the third time this month. Robert Chilson was ejected from Heritage Days by Park Ranger Joe Brown and several Trenton Police officers on Saturday, July 9 and told he could not return to the festival with or without petitions in his hands. That same day, Jo Carolyn Dent-Clark was told she could not solicit signatures for the petitions while she was in the area of the Mill Hill Playhouse. This past Saturday, July 23, Park Ranger Brown again confronted Andrew Bobbitt, Darren Green, Aida Albino-Wimbush and Ms. Clark as they gathered signatures in Cadwalader Park during the D.R.U.M.M Trenton Musicians Reunion concert. We have been advised by former City Attorney George Dougherty that when officials employed by the City of Trenton commit such actions, they are violating the Civil Rights of those whose actions were interrupted. For violating those rights, they are exposed to civil liability for actual and punitive damages. For directing, authorizing or even simply condoning those actions, the Mayor and other officers of the City of Trenton are exposed to the same liability for actual and punitive damages. We are prepared to take action without delay if it is apparent the acts above are not going to be investigated or punished through the disciplinary process as outlined in City policy. Without adherence to City policy, these kind of infractions are likely to be repeated in the future, and with implied complicity if not direction of the City Administration. Before filing a Civil Rights lawsuit, the undersigned call upon the Mayor to advise them whether he or his senior staff, to his knowledge, hold the view that such petitioning is not permitted in public places such as Mill Hill Park with the same freedom as is afforded candidates for elected office. We call upon the Mayor to disclaim any responsibility for the policy and practices of Park Ranger Brown and to denounce those actions as being contrary to the policy he has set for his Administration, and our rights outlined in the United States Constitution, and to advise of the disciplinary investigation and action he has put in place to insure that such an act is not repeated. Although the City Council is not scheduled to meet in formal session until August 18, 2011, we call upon each member of Council to make a clear statement of either support or rejection of the Civil Rights of each citizen to assemble and to peaceably obtain signatures from citizens willing to sign their

petitions, regardless of the subject matter of the petition. A prompt response declaring that the Civil Rights of the petitioners will be honored and that petition gathering at public events such as Heritage Days and public concerts and other public assemblies will be treated with the same deference as political candidates are accorded under the First Amendment, will prevent the filing of a lawsuit to have such rights enforced under the Civil Rights Act at the expense of the taxpayers, and with the objective of requiring all those who share responsibility for the violations to be made to pay the compensatory and punitive damages.


David Ponton, Jr.

Marion Ray

Craig Shofed

Christine Ott

Aida M. Albino-Wimbush