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Online petition urges Amherst County leaders to oppose First Amendment resolution

‘Nowhere does it say you cannot assemble. We have to assemble with minimum numbers.’

AMHERST COUNTY, Va. – A local NAACP chapter is urging the Amherst County Board of Supervisors not to adopt any First Amendment Sanctuary resolution against Governor Ralph Northam’s COVID-19 restrictions.

“[A resolution] is not a great thing because health matters,” said Gloria Witt, a member of the Amherst County NAACP chapter.

Witt supports Northam’s restrictions and said anyone who agrees with First Amendment resolutions -- claiming the governor is abusing his power -- does not understand the guidelines.

“Nowhere does it say you cannot assemble. We have to assemble with minimum numbers. So, in a way, our liberties are not being infringed,” said Witt.

The chapter started an online petition to support restrictions and oppose Amherst County from accepting a resolution of their own.

The NAACP chapter presented the petition to the Board of Supervisors during their Jan. 5 meeting, though the topic was not on the agenda.

Witt points out that while they’ve collected 400 signatures so far, only a fraction are from Amherst County residents.

Dean Rodgers, Amherst County administrator, says the Board is still in the drafting stage.

“The supervisors are crafting a real-world solution rather than just making a statement,” Rodgers said.

No word yet on if there will be a decision at the Board’s next meeting, which is scheduled for Jan. 19th.

“They have full authority to do what I call, ‘kick the can down the road,’ but they also have to appreciate that we are all watching,” said Witt.


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