July 20, 2020
Hon. Bill DeBlasio
New York, NY 10007
Via Email and FedEx (tracking number 771044130945 )
Re Request to Paint on Street
Dear Mayor DeBlasio,
Having opened the streets of your city for public expression, Students for Life of America (SFLA) and The Frederick Douglass Foundation (FDF) requests the opportunity to add our voices to those concerned about the treatment of people of color in America. Black Lives do matter, born and preborn, as too many people are lost in America today from causes that should be addressed and prevented for their disproportionate impact on minority communities.
SFLA and FDF request permission to paint Black Pre-Born Lives Matter on the intersection of Mott and Bleeker Streets at 6 o’clock in the morning on August 15, 2020, to celebrate the beautiful children with endless potential who are the future of their community and deserve the opportunity to make their mark in the world.
As an organization of nearly 1,300 groups on middle and high school, college and university, medical and law school campuses in all 50 states, SFLA works daily alongside the generation most targeted for abortions. But it should shock people to know that abortion disproportionately takes aim at minority communities. Though only 13 percent of the female population, African American women make up 36 percent of all abortions tracked.
FDF, with their state affiliates across the country, stand for and with Black America, including the most vulnerable among this population, those black babies still in the womb. As a public policy and educational organization FDF is a collection of pro-active individuals committed to developing innovative and new approaches to today’s problems, including the systemic racism of Planned Parenthood and their founder.
Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger wrote of her intentions for birth control, “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” It is not surprising that the organization she founded continues to target women of color for their population control efforts.
It’s ironic in New York City, where more black babies are aborted than born, Black Lives Matter was painted on the streets of a city that has a Margaret Sanger Square in Manhattan. The deadly legacy of abortion has robbed the city of tremendous potential, and it must come to an end to ensure the city’s future.
First Amendment Assemblies are regulated by N.Y. Penal Code § 240.10. The code requires that for an assembly to be unlawful a group of four or more engage or prepare to engage in tumultuous and violent conduct likely to cause public alarm. SFLA has applied for a street event permit outlining our plan of peaceful demonstration. SFLA’s compliance with New York City, N.Y., Rules, Tit. 50, § 1-05(b) requires that the Street Activity Permit Office approve our application. If denied, SFLA will appeal the decision to the Executive Director of CECM. This letter and SFLA’s permit application clearly establish how far SFLA’s painting demonstration is from an unlawful assembly as described above.
You must allow SFLA and FDF to paint its “Black Pre-born Lives Matter” message. Your original decision to paint “Black Lives Matter” on the street is government speech. However, your decision to allow protestors to paint “Defund the Police” opened the streets up as a public forum. You are not permitted to discriminate on the basis of viewpoint in making determinations relating to public assemblies in public fora. The message of the preborn will not be silenced.
New York has a long history of unconstitutionally silencing voices protected by first amendment rights. In 1951 the Supreme Court of the United States recognized New York’s unconstitutional practice allowing officials to unilaterally deny permits for public demonstrations in Kunz v. People of State of New York, 71 S.Ct. 312 (1951). New York officials must not continue this silencing behavior and grant SFLA a street event permit for its peaceful painting demonstration.
The Pro-Life Generation cannot be silent on the horrors of abortion. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” We are asking to make our voices heard on behalf of the preborn, so that they will have hope and a future.
Students for Life of America
Students for Life Action
Reverend Dean Nelson
The Frederick Douglass Foundation