Community Resolution for Grand Rapids, MI

March 30, 2004

72351 Com. Jendrasiak, supported by Corn. Tormala, moved adoption of the following resolution:

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WHEREAS, the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Rights in the Michigan Constitution guarantee freedom of speech, religion, assembly and privacy, the right to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings, and the protection from unreasonable searches and seizures for all persons; and,

WHEREAS, concern has been raised that provisions of the USA PATRIOT ACT and regulations promulgated thereunder, threaten these rights as guarantees; and,

WHEREAS, the City of Grand Rapids has a proud tradition of protecting the civil rights and liberties of all of its persons; and,

WHEREAS, the City of Grand Rapids has a diverse population, including immigrants and students whose contributions to the community are vital to its economy, culture and civic character; and,

WHEREAS, in times of national emergency or war, it is most important that governments do not target persons of ethnic descent for discrimination or harassment because of their country of national origin; and,

WHEREAS, the City Commission condemns discrimination or harassment against persons who are Arab Americans, Muslim Americans and Americans from South Asia; and,

WHEREAS, the City of Grand Rapids has undertaken numerous efforts to build community mist in law enforcement and the City Commission desires to avoid the danger that laws of the United States, including the USA PATRIOT ACT, are being used to infringe upon the Constitutional liberties of any persons.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE if RESOLVED:

I. The Grand Rapids City Commission reaffirms its commitment to the protection of the civil liberties of all of its persons.

2. The Grand Rapids City Commission opposes the use of any laws, including the US PATRIOT ACT, or the enforcement of those laws, that infringe upon the rights of any persons, including the right of peaceable assembly, freedom of speech, religion and political advocacy.

3. The Grand Rapids City Commission urges Congress not to re-authorize those sections of the USA PATRIOT ACT which expire in 2005.

4. The Grand Rapids City Commission authorizes and directs the City Clerk to do the following:

a) Transmit a copy of this Resolution to President George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

b) Transmit a copy of this Resolution to United States Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow and USA Representative Vein Elders.

Adopted: 

Yeas: -6 Corns. Dean, Jendrasiak, Schmidt, Tormala, White, Mayor Heartwell
Nays: -l Coin. Rabaut


I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true transcript of the action of the City Commission of the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan, in public session held March 30, 2004.

Mary Therese Hegarty, City Clerk

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