To the Editor:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” - The First Amendment

My name is Joshua Hellmann, and I'm running for Jackson County Board, in the third district. I am a staunch supporter of civil liberties, the environment, free and fair elections, and I am willing to listen to both sides when it comes to taxes. I am running as a Green Party candidate.

Sadly, the First Amendment has become all but a dead letter. The independent press is vilified for its anti-Establishment views, protest is criminalized, the line between church and state blurred, and the right of the people to associate as they please under attack. As a Green, I am among those most affected by the First Amendment's decline, as our recent Presidential candidate is under investigation for merely being in the same room as Vladimir Putin, never mind why she was actually there (to argue for more peaceful foreign policy).

However, if anyone reading my letter supports civil liberties, reason, and human dignity, I ask that you give me a chance to help Jackson County weather this storm of fear, hatred, and unreason plaguing our nation. Thank you.

If you would like to find out more, feel free to visit my campaign Facebook Page at Hellmann for Jackson County Board.

Joshua Hellmann

Murphysboro

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