Got any ideas on how to ease the permit process for demonstrations or other gatherings on the National Mall or other public parks in the Washington area? If so, you've got til Sept. 23 to suggest them to the National Park Service (NPS).
NPS has is asking routine permission from the Office of Management & Budget to extend authorization of the National Capital Region Application for Public Gathering. It proposed no changes but will listen to suggestions. For details, see www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-23/html/2013-17655.htm.
Organizations need to fill out the application when they want to use a national park for special events and demonstrations, which NPS describes as “any presentation, program or display that is recreational, entertaining, or celebratory in nature; e.g., sports events, pageants, celebrations, historical reenactments, regattas, entertainments, exhibitions, parades, fairs, festivals and similar events.”
Activities can include First Amendment events such as “picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding vigils or religious services and all other like forms of conduct that involve the communication or expression of views or grievances,” NPS explains.
NPS gets about 2,746 application a year and figures it takes 30 minutes on average to complete one.