Hey everyone, I caught some important news late Friday afternoon (And I've got a cold right now and nothin' better to do!).
The big news is that the City of St. Paul would take all applications for demonstrations and space in parks on March 3rd. Naturally the City put out the news very late on Friday to keep it off the news radar. There are only a few days to offer some kinds of finalized plans for the permitted use of public space during the Republican National Convention. http://www.stpaul.gov/convention/rncpermits.html
Since the process apparently involves a drawing/lottery, it may be a good idea for many groups of people (bands?) to enter into the lottery system and win space/time in a park.
There was a brief story about it in the Star Tribune: http://www.startribune.com/local/stpaul/15883057.html
Protesting at the RNC? Forms due March 3
St. Paul outlines its process for getting permits for demonstrations or large-group park space during the Republican National Convention.
By CHRIS HAVENS, Star Tribune
Last update: February 22, 2008 - 11:06 PM
Protesters, parkgoers and parade organizers, put March 3 on your calendar.
That's the day permit applications will be accepted for demonstrating or getting park space for groups of 25 or more during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. Applications are available now.
The permits would cover the time between Aug. 30 and Sept. 4. The convention will be held Sept. 1-4 at the Xcel Energy Center. More than 45,000 delegates, members of the news media and protesters are expected.
"We hope to accommodate as many people as logistically possible," said Erin Dady, the city's marketing director and convention planner.
Demonstration applications are available at the city website or at the Police Community Services Office, 1169 Rice St. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Some people want a protest area within sight and sound of the Xcel, and that space hasn't been determined yet, Dady said. "By no means will free speech be limited to one area," she said.
Applications will be reviewed by police and decisions made in a timely manner. More specific guidelines might be forthcoming, Dady said. Approvals could be delayed if more clarification or information is needed.
For more information on the city's rules regarding demonstration permits, go to www.ci.stpaul.mn.us/code/lc366a.html.
Applications to use space, pavilions and boat slips in the city's parks system for parties of 25 or more people are available at the city website and at the Parks and Recreation Permit Office, 1100 Hamline Av.
Parks permit applications will be accepted until 2 p.m. March 3, and a public lottery drawing will happen at 3 p.m. Applications received later will be handled on a first-come, first-serve basis.
A limited number of parks have been held for security reasons or convention activities.
Applications are online at www.stpaul.gov.
This was posted on the City of St. Paul website and I think matched the initial press release:
Applications for City Parks, Demonstration Permits during Republican National Convention Now Available
Permit applications to use space, pavilions, and boat slips in Saint Paul 's parks system for parties and gatherings of 25 or more people during the Republican National Convention Aug. 30 to Sept. 4 are now available online and from the Saint Paul Parks & Recreation Permit Office, 1100 Hamline Ave. North.
In addition, permit applications for demonstrations during the same period are also available online and through the Saint Paul Police Community Services Office, 1169 Rice Street .
A limited number of Parks have been held for security purposes and convention activities, but the vast majority of Saint Paul Parks are available for permits. The City of Saint Paul Division of Parks and Recreation manages over 160 parks and open spaces, the Como Park Zoo and Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, 41 recreation centers, a 9 hole and three 18 hole golf courses, over 100 miles of trails, indoor and outdoor pools, a public beach, sports and aquatics facilities, and wonderful rental facilities for public and private gatherings.
“Hosting the Republican National Convention gives us an incredible opportunity to showcase the city's world-class parks system to visitors from around the globe,” said Bob Bierscheid, director of Saint Paul Parks & Recreation. “Park space will be in high demand, and we want to make sure that everyone has equal opportunity to access our parks and enjoy themselves during this exciting event.”
Similar to the process in which the city awards permits for park use through a lottery at the beginning of the year, permits during the RNC convention period will be accepted up to 2 p.m. March 3 at the permit office.
A lottery drawing from permit applications will then follow at 3 p.m. The drawing is open to the public and will be broadcast through the city's cable channel soon after the drawing. The permit office will notify people of the status of their application by mail.
Based on park availability, permit applications received after March 3 will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Demonstration permit applications will be accepted starting March 3, at which time applications received through the mail also will be opened. Community Services Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Applications will be reviewed and decisions made in a timely manner. However, if there are more questions or clarification is needed, the application approval can be delayed until the information is gathered.
More information on the city's rules regarding demonstration permits can be found in the City Charter and Codes section on the city's Web site at www.stpaul.gov/code . Reference Chapter 366A, which describes the procedures for applications as well as the rules, regulations, and fees.
“The City of Saint Paul is committed to accommodating as many people as logistically possible while ensuring a safe and enjoyable convention for residents and visitors,” said Erin Dady, Saint Paul marketing director. “Hosting a national event of this magnitude takes a lot of coordination from many city departments and outside groups. This permitting process facilitates the necessary planning for a successful event.”
That's all. Thanks for reading through! (hopefully not spam to ya!)
--Dan Feidt - email@example.com