Today, The Legal Defense Fund, the Southern Center for Human Rights (“SCHR”), and the Center for Constitutional Rights (“CCR”) sent a letter demanding that Atlanta Municipal and Law Department officials to cease and desist the publication of signed referendum petitions with unredacted names, signatures, and other personal information on the Atlanta City Council website. The cease and desist letter was sent to Interim Municipal Clerk City of Atlanta A. Vanessa Waldon and the City of Atlanta Law Department. The City of Atlanta (the “City”) has subjected the signatories and circulators to potentially irreparable harm as publication of this sensitive information raises serious concerns of possible retaliation for the exercise of their First Amendment rights to express support for a referendum on the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, commonly referred to as “Cop City.” The publication of the unredacted, signed petitions is particularly egregious because such action conflicts with the clear directions of City Council expressed in both the Council’s initial resolution and subsequent letter.

Read the full letter here.


Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.