Fw: [bordcgd] (Please Forward): In Final Week, Congressman Sessions Attacks Dallas Bill of Rights Effort
----- Original Message -----
From: chip.pitts <chip.pitts@...>;
To: BORDCDallas <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
Cc: Chip Pitts <chip.pitts@...>
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 06:06 PM
Subject: [bordcgd] (Please Forward): In Final Week, Congressman Sessions
Attacks Dallas Bill of Rights Effort
For those of you who may not have heard, I'm sorry to report that
Congressman Pete Sessions spoke against our resolution, and in favor of the
Patriot Act, to Dallas City Councilmembers yesterday. He shamefully linked
our resolution against the excesses of the Patriot Act to millions of
dollars in homeland security funds which Dallas is counting on. The threat
(or even suggestion) that the federal government would retailiate against
Dallas and endanger funding of homeland security measures and safety of
Dallas residents is particularly misleading and reprehensible in that (i)
there is no legal basis for such retaliation against citizens for exercising
their rights to protect the safety and rights of all community members, (ii)
none of the hundreds of cities that have already passed resolutions like
this -- including large cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Austin, Denver,
etc. -- have been so retaliated against, and (iii) were such retaliation to
occur in response to the peaceful exercise of constitutional rights, it
would be not only politically untenable, but truly tyrannical. I don't know
about you, but I can't help but be reminded of the historical antecedents to
our own group: the "Committees of Correspondence" organized by the "Sons of
Liberty" that set in motion the events that led to the Constitution and Bill
of Rights themselves over two centuries ago. A Ft. Worth Star Telegram
story describing yesterday's events in more detail is pasted below.
In this FINAL WEEK, EVERY INDIVIDUAL ACTION YOU CAN TAKE matters a great
deal. They're counting emails/letters, and some have only received about 7
or 8 from within their districts. Yet rumors to the contrary
notwithstanding, I confirmed today that we still have seven strong votes
with us, and one or two weak votes with us. So WE CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN. In
order to consolidate the eight or more needed to win, please take action and
urge your network to take action THIS WEEK to:
1. Strongly urge Councilmembers Sandy Greyson and Ed Oakley to support the
resolution, and persuade Councilmembers Finkelman and Lill to do so. In
addition to your own letters to these key members, IF YOU KNOW OR CAN CHECK
YOUR BRAIN OR ROLODEX OR ASK AROUND to FIND OTHERS WITHIN THEIR DISTRICTS
(generally mid-and-North Dallas) to write letters before next Wednesday's
final vote (Jan. 14th), NOW IS THE TIME. CONTACT INFO for these four key
members and the Mayor is at the end of this email. Anyone can instantly
find their representatives on the City Council or in Congress by going to:
2. If you've not already written your Congressional representative to
express concerns about the Patriot Act, and urge them to support the Dallas
resolution against the excesses of the act, please do so this week (you can
confirm who represents you from the website above or by clicking on the
Project Vote Smart link on the right of our website, www.bordcdallas.org).
3. Don't forget to please calendar to show up and urge others to show up
for as long as possible NEXT WEDNESDAY, January 14th, at 6th Floor City Hall
Council Chambers, 1500 Marilla St. downtown -- wearing BLUE to show your
support. (We'll have some speakers in favor of the resolution starting at
9:00 am, and the agenda item will come up later that day, so please be there
at 8:45am if you can).
Thanks much --
214 906 9424
Lawmaker defends Patriot Act before council
By Eva-Marie Ayala
Star-Telegram Dallas Bureau
DALLAS - Cities that accept federal homeland-security dollars should not
take a stand against the act that helped create such funding, U.S. Rep. Pete
Sessions, R-Dallas, told members of the Dallas City Council on Monday.
Sessions was invited to the council's Public Safety Committee meeting to
discuss homeland security funding but also commented on the council's
upcoming vote regarding the USA Patriot Act's effect on civil liberties.
"You should not be hypocritical in taking money" while opposing the act,
Sessions said after the meeting.
He said the city will receive about $3.5 million as a result of the act.
Sessions said the act is a vital "toolkit" for fighting terrorism and is not
being misused. He said the act helped the government gather intelligence
that led to the diversion of recent international flights that authorities
believed may have posed a threat.
But Mayor Pro Tem John Loza, who helped bring the resolution before the
council, said the city must address concerns about civil liberties.
The act "does affect the rights of the citizens of Dallas," he said.
The proposed resolution states that city officials would uphold citizens'
constitutional rights, and it urges representatives to monitor the
implementation of the act.
The Patriot Act, passed soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks,
expands law-enforcement officers' surveillance and investigative powers,
allowing them to, for example, examine library patrons' records.
It has been criticized by some civil-rights organizations.
Early last year, Dallas officials were concerned that the city had spent
$4.6 million, none of it from the federal government, on anti-terrorism
Sessions, who sits on the House's Select Committee on Homeland Security,
told council members that Congress is working to streamline the process so
that local governments can more quickly get their share of the $29.4 billion
that will be spent on homeland security.
That especially includes cities such as Dallas that have a first-responder
network with other cities and the FBI, Sessions said.
But the process is being slowed by states' financial problems and
disagreements among state, county and city officials on how the dollars
should be spent, he said.
Mary Suhm, first assistant city manager, briefed the council members on
other issues and explained that Dallas was designated as a point of contact
in charge of organizing security efforts for surrounding counties and
assisting in allocating federal grant funds.
She said Tarrant County was not included in the designated area for
receiving funds, although it was listed as a county Dallas must help
Suhm said Dallas' lobbyist is working to correct that problem.
Contact info for four key swing Councilmembers follows (Regular Mail Address
for all of them: Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla Street, Dallas, TX 75201):
1. Councilmember Veletta Forsythe Lill
Main Phone: (214) 670-5415
Fax: (214) 670-1847
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
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
EMPHASIZE: need for solidarity with vulnerable populations
4. Councilmember Sandy Greyson
Main Phone: (214) 670-4067
EMPHASIZE: Excessive, unchecked power already affecting local residents
rights and security.
The Mayor's info is:
Mayor Laura Miller
Main Phone: (214) 670-4054
Fax: (214) 670-0646
(cc Crayton W. Webb: cwwebb@...)
EMPHASIZE: Local issue. Resolution needed to protect local resident
Yahoo! Groups Links
To visit your group on the web, go to:
To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: