Community Resolution for Dallas, TX

July 14, 2005
Resolution Expressing the Commitment of the City of Dallas, Texas, to Civil Rights and Liberties and Urging Certain Actions be Taken with Respect to the ""USA PATRIOT Act""

WHEREAS, the United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, is the supreme law of the land; and

WHEREAS, all elected and appointed officials in Texas swear, upon taking office, to uphold the United States and Texas Constitutions; and

WHEREAS, federal, state and local governments must protect the public from terrorist attacks such as those that occurred on September 11, 2001, but should do so in a rational and deliberate fashion to ensure that any new security measures effectively enhance public safety without impairing constitutional rights or infringing upon civil liberties protected by the United States and Texas Constitutions; and

WHEREAS, the City of Dallas recalls, with gratitude for their supreme sacrifice, those in the Armed Forces who have died in battle protecting these same cherished rights and liberties; and

WHEREAS, certain federal laws and policies adopted since September 11, 2001, including provisions of the ""USA PATRIOT"" Act, and related executive orders, regulations, and actions threaten fundamental rights and civil liberties of citizens and noncitizens alike; and

WHEREAS, certain provisions of those federal anti-terrorism measures violate fundamental rights and civil liberties, including the freedom from unwarranted searches and seizures, the right to a speedy and public trial, the right to legal counsel, the right to be informed of charges against you, the right to free speech, assembly, and the right to privacy; and

WHEREAS, the City of Dallas benefits both culturally and economically from the contributions of its racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse populations, some of which have been, or may be, special targets of federal anti-terrorism acts; and

WHEREAS, the City of Dallas benefits greatly from its status in international trade and commerce, and recognizes the importance of maintaining prosperous relations with all nations; and Civil Liberties Resolutions 91 October 26, 2004

WHEREAS, a number of states and many other cites throughout the United States, including Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Seattle, have enacted resolutions that affirm the support for civil liberties, and demand both governmental accountability and the repeal of unconstitutional provisions of the ""USA PATRIOT"" Act; and

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF DALLAS:

Section 1. That the City of Dallas has been, and remains, firmly committed to the protection of civil rights and civil liberties for all its people, and will avoid discrimination in every function of city government and will vigorously uphold the constitutionally protected rights of all persons to peacefully protest and express their political views without governmental interference.

Section 2. That the City of Dallas affirms the following principles, which are incorporated into the policies of the Dallas Police Department: every person has the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, arrests may not be made without establishing reasonable suspicion or probable cause that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed, every person has a right to equal protection under the law and the right not to be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, and every person has the right to free speech and freedom of association under the United States and Texas Constitutions.

Section 3. That the City of Dallas respects and values public safety intelligence gathering, in accord with constitutional standards, as an indispensable part of law enforcement and of national security. Currently held and gathered information shall be thoroughly and carefully reviewed for its appropriateness under the United States and Texas Constitutions.

Section 4. That the City of Dallas reaffirms Dallas's commitment to unbiased policing as expressed in the policies of the Dallas Police Department and endorses the principle that no law enforcement or other city agency may profile or discriminate against any person on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or religion.

Section 5. That the City of Dallas reaffirms Dallas support of the government of the United States of America in its campaign against terrorism, but also reaffirms its commitment that such a campaign not be waged at the expense of civil rights and liberties of the people of Dallas and the United States.

Section 6. That as long as Section 215 of the ""USA PATRIOT"" Act remains unamended, the City of Dallas shall direct public libraries within the city to post in a prominent place within each library, on the city library homepage, a notice to library users as follows: ""WARNING: Under Section 215 of the federal USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56), records of the books and other materials you borrow from this library may be obtained by federal agents. Federal agents may also track your personal Internet usage on library computers. This federal law prohibits librarians from informing you if federal agents have obtained records about you.

Section 7. That the City Council of Dallas petition Texas representatives of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, urging them to strictly monitor the implementation of federal anti-terrorism measures in the Dallas area and to work to repeal those provisions of the ""USA PATRIOT"" Act and other federal anti-terrorism laws and policies, that infringe upon fundamental rights and civil liberties.

Section 8. That the City Council of Dallas calls upon the United States Attorney's Office, the Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and local law enforcement authorities to publicly and promptly disclose the names of any and all federal detainees held in Dallas, and not keep those name secret.

Section 9. That the Clerk of the City Council of Dallas attests and affixes the seal of the City of Dallas to this resolution and that a copy be transmitted to President George W. Bush, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Governor Rick Perry, Mayor Laura Miller, City Manager Ted Benavides, and Police Chief Randy Hampton.

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