An open letter to Del. McCaskill, Del. Ruth, Sen. Sydnor, Gov. Moore.
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An Open Letter

To: Del. McCaskill, Del. Ruth, Sen. Sydnor, Gov. Moore

From: A verified voter in Halethorpe, MD

June 11

As public servants, you understand the vital importance of upholding the constitutional rights that form the foundation of our democracy. The recent actions of Delegates Arikan, Grammer, Nawracki, and Szeliga, who are calling for the termination of Ms. Alexa Sciuto stemming from their allegations that she organized a lawful protest. The Maryland General Assembly and House of Delegates have a constitutional duty to uphold the rights and freedoms of all citizens. These include the right to peaceful assembly and free speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article 40 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights. These fundamental rights are the cornerstone of our democracy, and our elected officials are sworn to protect them. Delegates Arikan, Grammer, Nawracki, and Szeliga have made false accusations against Ms. Sciuto, alleging that she organized a lawful protest at an event attended by Delegate Szeliga and mischaracterizing her peaceful actions as "threats." There is no credible evidence to support these claims, which appear to be an intentional effort to silence Ms. Sciuto. The delegates disseminated these misleading claims on social media, using what appears to be the official General Assembly letterhead. This action spreads misinformation and constitutes an improper use of official channels to unjustly target Ms. Sciuto. Such behavior should concern individuals across the political spectrum. Delegates Arikan and Szeliga were present at the Parental Power Summit, which welcomed all attendees, including Ms. Sciuto, who had the opportunity to speak during an open Q&A session. Instead of acknowledging the peaceful nature of the discussion, they have chosen to portray it as a violent threat. As elected officials, they should recognize and anticipate peaceful instances of protest. The right to assembly is a cornerstone of our democratic principles. The social media post cited by the delegates as threatening was clearly marked as rhetorical satire and was posted days after the event. Ms. Sciuto made clear that it satirical attack on reputations, not a physical threat. The delegates were likely aware of this context before sharing their letter. Delegates Arikan, Grammer, Nawracki, and Szeliga have sought to use their positions to have Ms. Sciuto terminated, addressing their public letter to Dr. Myriam Rogers, Superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools. It is deeply troubling to see elected officials attempting to punish her for lawful expression. Official complaints have been filed with the Maryland General Assembly Ethics Committee, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, the ACLU of Maryland, and Dr. Myriam Rogers of Baltimore County Public Schools. It is imperative that we uphold civil rights and protect the constitutional rights of all citizens, regardless of their profession or political views.

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