March, 2023 Four people from Michigan attended the Women Against Registry (W.A.R.) Conference in Washington, D.C. March 5-7. We all learned something from the day-and-half of presentations. The second day we had appointments with aids in Senator Peters and Representative Dingell’s office. We dropped off literature at our other senator’s and representative’s offices. Our topic, the sex offense registry, seemed new to them, and there was no obvious enthusiasm for reform. We are advocating for elimination of the current registry. We wished there were a specific bill or appropriation amount we could have asked them to support.
The last morning was spent in a vigil in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, lamenting the 20th anniversary of the Smith v. Doe decision that said Alaska’s registry was not punishment We were dressed in black with a life-sized coffin. We had a permit and a microphone, so maybe we educated the passers-by, guards and school children lined up for tours. Our numbers were small (sixty-eight), but hopefully this conference will serve as an example for future actions.
One of the conference’s highlights for me was when representatives from NARSOL, ACSOL, and W.A.R. participated in a panel where they agreed to come up with a project that all three groups can work on together. United we will win.