Community Resolution for Plainfield, NJ

June 21, 2004

RESOLUTION AFFIRMING THE COMMITMENT OF THE CITY OF PL4INFIELD TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND THE CIVIL LIBERTIES GUARANTEED BY THE BILL OF RIGHTS

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Introduced by Council President Adrian O. Mapp:


WHEREAS, the City of Plainfield has a diverse population whose contributions to the community are vital to its economy, culture and civic character; and

WHEREAS, the preservation of civil rights is essential to the well-being of any democratic community; and

WHEREAS, several acts and orders recently enacted at the Federal level, including sections of the USA PATRIOT ACT and several Executive Orders, now infringe upon the following rights and liberties, all guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights:

· Freedom of Speech, religion, and privacy;
· The right to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings; and
· Protection from unreasonable search and seizures; and

WHEREAS, the City of Plainfield affirms its strong opposition to terrorism of any kind; and

WHEREAS, the City of Plainfield affirms the responsibility of the leaders of the United States to seek national security without sacrificing the basic civil rights upon which our nation was founded, which rights have been vigilantly protected for over 200 years; and

WHEREAS, under the auspices of both the USA PATRIOT ACT and related Executive Orders, persons of Middle Eastern descent South Asian descent and the Muslim faith have been targeted for interrogation and possible deportation in violation of laws prohibiting governmental discrimination against ethnic arid religious minorities; and

WHEREAS, the American Library Association Council (""ALA"") adopted a resolution on January 29, 2003 entitled ""Resolution on the USA Patriot Act and related measures that infringe on the rights of library users,"" and the New Jersey Library Association has endorsed the ALA resolution; and

WHEREAS, approximately 250 other communities in a majority of the United States and at least 3 state legislatures have passed resolutions or ordinances protecting the civil liberties of their residents; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Plainfield City Council:

I. Reaffirms its strong support for the rights of immigrants and opposes measures that single out individuals for legal scrutiny based on their country of origin or ethnicity.

2. Reaffirms its strong support for racial equality and opposes measures that single out individuals for legal scrutiny based on their race;

3 Reaffirms-is its strong support for freedom of religion and opposes measures that single out individuals for legal scrutiny based on their religious beliefs;

4. Reaffirms its strong support for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and opposes measures that single out individuals for legal scrutiny based on their non-criminal speech and association;

5. Reaffirms its direction to all City employees and municipal workers and to the Police Department of the City of Plainfield to:

Refrain from surveillance of individuals or groups and from collecting or maintaining information about the political, religious, or social views of any individual or group unless there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the subject of the surveillance or information collection is, or may be involved in criminal activity;

Refrain from using race, religion, ethnicity or national origin as a factor in selecting which individuals to subject to investigative activities unless there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the subject of the investigation is, or may be involved in criminal activity.

6. In accordance with time tested legal requirements concerning search warrants, reaffirms its direction to the Police Department of the City of Plainfield to protect the constitutional rights of individuals in connection with the execution of a search warrant to any resident of the City of Plainfield whose property is the subject of such a warrant;

7. Requests federal and state law enforcement officials acting within the City of Plainfield to work in accordance with the policies of the City of Plainfield Police Department and in cooperation with the Police Department by not engaging in or permitting detentions without charges of Plainfield residents;

8.  Urges the Plainfield Public Library to post in a prominent place within to library users as follows: ""The USA Patriot Act, contains certain provisions that permits the examination by federal agents of records of books and other materials borrowed from this Library and may affect the confidentiality of library records;

9. Urges that the Plainfield Public Library adopt and implement patron privacy and record retention policies that affirm that ""the collection of personally identifiable information should only be a matter of routine or policy when necessary for the fulfillment of the mission of the library;

10. Directs the Clerk of the City of Plainfield to transmit a copy of this resolution to Senators Corzine and Lautenburg and Representative Pallone, accompanied by a letter urging them to:

Work to repeal or amend provisions of the USA PATRIOT ACT and other related federal Executive Orders, regulations and actions that infringe on civil rights and liberties;

Ensure that provisions of the USA PATRIOT ACT that are scheduled to expire on December 31, 2005 do expire without extension;

Monitor the implementation of the Act and Orders cited above in order to protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights;

Propose and support Congressional action to prohibit passage of the act known as ""Patriot II"" or other acts or orders that violate the Constitution and the Bill of Rights

11. Directs the Clerk of the City of Plainfield to transmit a copy of this resolution to Governor McGreevey and appropriate members of the State Legislature;

12. Directs the Clerk of the City of Plainfield to transmit a copy of this resolution to all departments, agencies and agents of the City of Plainfield.


Adopted by the Municipal Council

June 21, 2004

Laddie Wyatt, Municipal Clerk

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