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Patriot Act, FW from BORDC

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  • Kat
    Hi, everyone -- I hope that your holidays have been relaxing and invigorating as we enter the New Year. Unfortunately, as you may have heard, sections of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2004
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      Hi, everyone -- I hope that your holidays have been relaxing and
      invigorating as we enter the New Year. Unfortunately, as you may have
      heard, sections of Patriot II were implemented when the nation was
      distracted by Saddam's capture. So with only one full week to go
      before
      the
      final resolution vote on Wednesday Jan. 14th, THIS IS THE MOST
      IMPORTANT
      MESSAGE YOU WILL RECEIVE FROM ME. It's truly crunch time, and just a
      little
      effort from you can make all the difference in the world.

      The main need continues to be literature drops and lobbying,
      especially in
      North Dallas, to influence the four key swing votes (Finkelman, Lill,
      Greyson, and Oakley). I've spent a couple of days doing this
      personally,
      and it really helps, because people in those districts remain
      completely
      unaware of this important upcoming vote affecting their rights and
      security.
      Please take three simple actions to help out, or pick one or two and
      do
      what
      you can:

      1. WRITE letters and emails to the Mayor and Councilmembers at the
      addresses and using the talking points in the attached, if you've not
      already done so, and URGE OTHERS you know to do so (especially if they
      reside in North Dallas).

      2. PRINT OUT COPIES AND HANDOUT quantities of the attached one-page
      action
      alert in North Dallas -- if possible putting the attached fact sheet
      on
      the
      reverse side. Getting this into shops, bookstores, libraries,
      community
      centers, and homes in these critical districts this weekend and over
      the
      next week will make all the difference.

      3. CALENDAR AND ATTEND, and ENCOURAGE AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN TO
      ATTEND,
      WEARING BLUE TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR THE RESOLUTION, the City Council
      meeting
      at
      the 6th floor city council chambers at City Hall, 1500 Marilla,
      downtown
      Dallas, on Wednesday January 14th (starting at 9:00 am).

      We'll have a short status meeting this Sunday, January 4th, at 5:00pm
      at
      the
      I-Hop at the corner of 635 and Josey, for those interested and able
      to
      make
      it.

      Don't give up now; to quote Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small
      group
      of thoughtful committed individuals can change the world. In fact,
      it's
      the
      only thing that ever has."

      Happy New Year!

      Chip Pitts
      BORDC
      www.bordcdallas.org
      mobile: 214 906 9424


      P.S. Waseem of the Muslim Legal Fund of America has asked that we
      let
      folks
      know they are looking to fill the two positions described below.
      Please
      have resumes sent directly to him: waseem@....

      1) Immigration Attorney
      3-5 Years experience with Immigration cases
      Experience with other Federal cases
      Dynamic, Enthusiastic and an Activist

      2) Office Administrator
      Good Administrative skills
      Knowledge with MS Office (Word, Excel, Power Point,
      Outlook,
      etc)
      Very Organized and dynamic
      Cheerful with good oral and written skills



      Bill of Rights Defense Committee: Urge Mayor and City Council Members
      to Vote "Yes" on Jan. 14 City Council Resolution on the
      Patriot Act

      For further info, see website www.bordcdallas.org
      <http://www.bordcdallas.org>
      Or email to bordcdallas-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
      <mailto:bordcdallas-subscribe@yahoogroups.com>

      Key Points to make in all calls, letters, and emails:

      (i) that this is a NONPARTISAN issue relating to basic American
      freedoms important to us all, as evidenced by the incredibly diverse
      list of supporters (www.bordcdallas.org) including the Republican
      Liberty Caucus, the Institute for Policy Innovation, and the
      Libertarian Party, as well as classic civil liberties organizations
      the ACLU, NAACP, LULAC, leading organizations from all the major faith
      traditions, and the League of Women Voters. The broad nature of this
      coalition is also apparent from the fact that so many Republican as
      well as Democratic cities (including over 225 cities and the entire
      Republican state of Alaska) have supported this, that so much
      bipartisan legislation is now pending in Congress to repeal all or
      part of the Patriot Act, and that the National League of Cities
      (representing 18,000 cities and 225 million people) is now on record
      against the excesses of the law;

      (ii) that this is a LOCAL issue, since it affects YOUR core concerns
      relating to liberty and security, including the ability to be able to
      freely read what you like and form beliefs and opinions without
      unwarranted government searches and interference in your libraries,
      bookstores, homes, or emails; to engage in advocacy related to the
      issues most important to you without risking falling into the broad
      definition of `terrorist'; to be safe and secure (as opposed
      to having
      law enforcement attention and resources diverted to the innocent, or
      to discriminatory law enforcement that alienates vulnerable
      communities); and to live in a community governed by local officials
      that respect their sworn oath and moral duty to uphold the rule of law
      and the Constitution as the highest law of the land (as opposed to
      arbitrary discretion of one man, Mr. Ashcroft).

      (iii) that this is a matter of TRULY EFFECTIVE LOCAL SECURITY, which
      is better served by focused and fact-based law enforcement based on
      reasonable suspicion and probable cause (as opposed to overbroad and
      discriminatory measures depending on stereotypes or
      guilt-by-association or profiling based on skin color, national
      origin, or religion), and tolerance for peaceful dissent that helps
      expose government abuses and coverups. Overbroad approaches, by
      contrast -- ranging from the exclusion of the Chinese in the
      1880's, to the nationalistic and xenophobic laws of the early
      twentieth century, to the Japanese internment of World War II --
      distract law enforcement attention from the true terrorists, divert
      scarce tax dollars and law enforcement resources, and -- by increasing
      distrust and fear -- reduce the cooperation from local communities
      that's essential for catching the actual bad guys.

      In addition, key points to stress for individual officials are
      emphasized after their contact information.

      CONTACT INFORMATION FOR CALLS & LETTERS TO UNDECIDED OR WAVERING
      OFFICIALS (IN ORDER OF PRIORITY):

      (Regular Mail Address for all of them: Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla
      Street, Dallas, TX 75201)

      Personalized letters are really needed. If you REALLY can't make
      the
      time, then at least take 60 seconds to send the form letter at:
      <http://www.aclu.org/NationalSecurity/NationalSecu
      rity.cfm?ID=14483&c=24>



      1. Councilmember Veletta Forsythe Lill
      Main Phone: (214) 670-5415
      Fax: (214) 670-1847
      vlill@... <mailto:vlill@...>
      EMPHASIZE: impact on libraries, repression even of artistic
      expression; negative impact on Dallas's cultural diversity; need
      to
      have fact-based law enforcement for true security

      2. Councilmember Lois G. Finkelman
      Main Phone: (214) 670-7817
      Fax: (214) 670-0765
      lfinkel@... <mailto:lfinkel@...>
      EMPHASIZE: local issue, because rights already being affected,
      including e.g. ability to advocate for women's issues,
      environmental
      causes

      3. Councilmember Ed Oakley
      Main Phone: (214) 670-0776
      Fax: (214) 670-1833
      edoakle@... <mailto:edoakle@...>
      EMPHASIZE: need for solidarity with vulnerable populations

      4. Councilmember Sandy Greyson
      Main Phone: (214) 670-4067
      Fax: 214-670-5650
      sgreyson@... <mailto:sgreyson@...>
      EMPHASIZE: Excessive, unchecked power already affecting local
      residents rights and security.

      5. Mayor Laura Miller
      Main Phone: (214) 670-4054
      Fax: (214) 670-0646
      lmiller@... <mailto:lmiller@...>
      (cc Crayton W. Webb: cwwebb@...
      <mailto:cwwebb@...>)
      EMPHASIZE: Local issue. Resolution needed to protect local resident
      rights).

      6. Councilmember Dr. Elba Garcia
      Main Phone: (214) 670-4052
      Fax: (214) 670-1815
      egarcia@... <mailto:egarcia@...>

      7. Councilmember Leo Chaney
      Main Phone: (214) 670-4689
      Fax: (214) 670-1819
      lchaney@...

      8. Councilmember Bill Blaydes
      Main Phone: (214) 670-4068
      Fax: (214) 670-1843
      bblayde@... <mailto:bblayde@...>
      EMPHASIZE: Conservatives as well as others should be concerned about
      excessive government intrusion into our lives

      9. Councilmember Gary Griffith
      Main Phone: (214) 670-4069
      Fax: (214) 670-5117
      gargrif@... <mailto:gargrif@...>
      EMPHASIZE: Conservatives as well as others should be concerned about
      excessive government intrusion into our lives

      10. Councilmember Mitchell Rasansky
      Main Phone: (214) 670-3816
      Fax: (214) 670-1831
      mrasans@... <mailto:mrasans@...>
      EMPHASIZE: The Patriot Act's new, bureaucratic burdens on
      business
      (to disclose records, have compliance programs) don't have clear
      corresponding security benefits

      JANUARY 14th VOTE: If you're able, please show up (wearing BLUE)
      for
      the vote on the resolution: 6th floor City Council Chambers, City
      Hall (1500 Marilla, downtown) on Wednesday, January 14th. The meeting
      starts at 9:00 am.


      Support the Resolution Regarding Civil Liberties

      Dallas should join the over 220 other local governments and 3 states
      that have passed similar resolutions!

      What does the USA PATRIOT Act do?
      When not only liberal organizations like the ACLU, but also many
      faith-based denominations, and conservative organizations like the
      American Conservative Union, Americans for Tax Reform, Dick
      Armey's
      local Institute for Policy Innovation, the Eagle Forum, the National
      Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America join the League of Women
      Voters and others to question a law like the USA Patriot Act,
      something's up. The PATRIOT Act dramatically expands the
      government's
      power to investigate the personal lives of Americans and all Dallas
      residents, increases electronic surveillance over individuals and
      subjects businesses to new intrusions and compliance burdens, all
      without having to show probable cause to believe the person may have
      committed a crime. Because the government investigates Americans who
      are not accused of committing a crime, with no probable cause, law
      enforcement resources are diverted from the guilty to the innocent,
      risking public safety and making residents feel less free to express
      dissent. These intrusions chill legitimate free speech and undermine
      important other rights important to correcting government errors and
      holding government accountable.

      What does the Resolution regarding Civil Liberties do?
      The nonpartisan Dallas City Council resolution would affirm the
      city's
      commitment to protect the right to privacy and other fundamental
      constitutional rights of its residents. It creates protections,
      including (until the PATRIOT ACT is amended) a warning sign in
      libraries that will let Dallas residents know when their rights are
      threatened by PATRIOT Act abuses.

      Will the Dallas police be put in a difficult position?
      No, like the Mayor and City Council members, every peace officer is
      specifically trained to recognize Constitutional violations, and has
      taken an oath of office promising to uphold the Constitution. The
      resolution only reaffirms the Police Department's commitment to
      respect constitutional rights, including avoiding overbroad methods
      (like discriminatory racial profiling) that threaten public safety.

      Why is this an issue for our city council?
      Enforcement of the Patriot Act and related measures takes place at the
      local level, especially through combined FBI/local law enforcement
      task forces. Local law enforcement using our local tax and other
      resources should NOT be used to violate local residents'
      constitutional rights. The Dallas City Council is responsible for
      local law enforcement and for other city staff as well as allocation
      of our local tax dollars. As the city has done before when
      there's a
      risk of rights violations, this resolution affirms the city's
      commitment to avoid unconstitutional violation of residents'
      rights
      when implementing federal law. No law can take that responsibility
      away - not even the USA PATRIOT Act.
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