Community Resolution for West Windsor, NJ

July 14, 2005
Resolution 2004-R

WHEREAS, on September 11, 2001, more than three thousand people were killed by hijacked aircraft, a circumstance made possible by lax security; and

WHEREAS, West Windsor Township was deeply affected by these events, losing seven residents and numerous friends and colleagues; and

WHEREAS, we in West Windsor Township are therefore particularly aware that increased security is necessary to protect the American people, to attempt to thwart further terrorist attacks, and wage an effective campaign against terrorism; and

WHEREAS, security concerns should not undermine the liberties that make America unique and great; and

WHEREAS, the language in the USA PATRIOT Act (P.L. 107-56) has raised concerns that it threatens fundamental rights and liberties embodied in the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, examples of the PATRIOT Act's potential for undermining these fundamental rights include the Government's expanded power to: engage in telecommunications surveillance with limited judicial supervision, view sensitive medical, mental health and financial information with little if any judicial oversight, limit the disclosure of public documents and records under the Freedom of Information Act, and permit indefinite detention of immigrants and other non-citizens; and

WHEREAS, we oppose any chilling effect on the free exercise of rights granted under the Constitution; and

WHEREAS, the PATRIOT Act was passed quickly and without public hearings or Congressional mark-up because of the security concerns raised by the events of September 11, 2001; and

WHEREAS, the PATRIOT Act does not represent the considered response to the terrorist threat that Americans expect from their elected officials; and

WHEREAS, West Windsor is proud to be a diverse community whose members are concerned about possible abridgement of rights based upon an individual's race, ethnicity, religion, gender or country of origin; and

WHEREAS, the PATRIOT Act will be reconsidered by Congress for possible reauthorization and extension of sunset provisions,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of West Windsor, County of Mercer, State of New Jersey, that Congress ought to hold full and fair hearings regarding the PATRIOT Act, its provisions, and its enforcement and amend the act as necessary to eliminate any chilling effect on constitutional liberties and to implement effective programs targeted at actual threats without compromising the values that are fundamental to America; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that certified copies of this resolution be sent to all elected representatives of West Windsor Township in the County of Mercer and the State of New Jersey, and the entire New Jersey Congressional delegation, Senators, and the President of the United States.

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