Stopping the Stampede on Civil Liberties

How your voice can influence the policy debate around reopening

The Steamboat Institute’s campaign to amplify your perspectives. 


County commissioners and local public health officials across the country are making rules that abridge civil liberties in an effort to control the spread of the coronavirus. These regulations are often formed with little-to-no input from ordinary constituents who bear the brunt of the consequences.

Personal stories about how government orders affect people’s families, businesses, and communities have been overlooked in the rush to enact strict measures on people’s movements, business operations, and social gatherings. The absence of popular opinion in the face of “expert” opinion—the voice of self-government in the midst of this bureaucratic rule—is due largely to people not having a platform from which to share their stories.

The Steamboat Institute encourages you to share your personal accounts of how the government response to this crisis is affecting your families, businesses, and communities. These compelling stories can resonate with local elected officials and change the policy debate around how these measures should be enacted and, in due course, eliminated.

Two of the best avenues to share your perspectives are letters to your elected officials and letters to your local newspaper. Elected officials often want to hear their constituents’ perspectives but don’t have the time to canvass for them. The opinion section of your local newspaper is read by many of the key influencers and decision-makers in your community.

Compelling topics to address in these letters include:

  1. How the economic crisis is affecting you and your family.
  2. How the economic crisis is affecting your business and business community.
  3. How local ordinances contribute to this economic crisis.
  4. How local ordinances violate personal freedoms.
  5. How you, your family, and your customers are taking personal responsibility — absent government coercion — to limit the spread of this virus.
  6. How you are planning to revive your home economy, reopen your business, or revitalize the social institutions around you and your family.

Write from the heart, but try to keep these short: 400-words maximum for letters to elected officials, 200-words maximum for letters to editors.

You can find your county commissioners and their email addresses through a Google search. You can find out how to submit a letter to the editor by visiting the opinion section on your local newspaper’s website.

Please feel free to reach out Jordan Bruneau, Communications Director at The Steamboat Institute, if you need help finding appropriate contacts: [email protected].

Please share your letters with us and we will compile on our website. 

Your voices are needed to influence how your county reopens. By sharing them with elected officials and the media, you can stop our civil liberties from being trampled upon in the name of increased security. We have done our part to fight the coronavirus, and now we must fight together for our future.

May 31, 2020