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Business Letter

October 6, 2009

Charles Ledbetter
Editorial Board Chairman
The Portland Times
777 NW Fifth Ave.
Portland, OR 97444

Dear Charles:

My name is Jane Stewart and I am the director of Healthy Minds USA, a nonprofit grassroots mental health organization that focuses on education, support, advocacy and research. I would like to request the opportunity to speak at the next meeting of The Portland Times editorial board to call attention to an extremely important issue that I feel is not receiving the attention it deserves. Nonprofit organizations around the nation are at risk of losing their First Amendment Right.

The government is proposing a bill that contains a provision that would prohibit nonprofit organizations from obtaining grant funds if they voice any opinions about political matters. In short, the government is stifling free expression by threatening to revoke tax-exemption from organizations that have an opposed opinion about policy issues.

The nonprofit community has the right to free speech just like everybody else and our funding should not be in jeopardy because of that. This outreach is a wake-up call for non-profit organizations and the public to be alert to this and any government attempts to silence us. As medium that prides itself on demonstrating the First Amendment, I believe that The Portland Times could provide valuable support needed to shine a light on this unconstitutional issue. I hope that you will consider my request to speak at the next meeting.

Sincerely,

Jane Stewart
Director, Healthy Minds USA

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