Community Resolution for Odessa, DE

Approved by: Odessa Town Council

WHEREAS, the prevention of terrorist attacks is a critical national priority, it is equally important to preserve the fundamental civil liberties and personal freedoms embodied in the Bill of Rights over 200 years ago, and which have been preserved through a constant vigilance against periodic threats to its principles; and

WHEREAS, a number of provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act threaten fundamental rights and civil liberties, including:

1. Section 213 which permits law enforcement to perform searches with no one present and to delay notification of the search of a citizen's home;

2. Section 215 which permits the FBI Director to seek records from bookstores and libraries including books of patrons based on minimal evidence of wrongdoing and prohibits librarians and bookstore employees from disclosing the fact that they have been ordered to produce such documents;

3. Section 218 which amends the "probable cause" requirement before conducting secret searches or surveillance to obtain evidence of a crime;

4. Sections 215, 218, 358, and 508 which permit law enforcement authorities to have broad access to sensitive mental health, library, business, financial, and educational records despite the existence of previously adopted state and federal laws which were intended to strengthen the protection of these types of records;

5. Sections 411 and 412 which give the Secretary of State broad powers to designate domestic groups as "terrorist organizations" and the Attorney General power to subject immigrants to indefinite detention or deportation even if no crime has been committed; and

6. Sections 507 and 508 which impose an unfunded mandate on state and local public universities who must collect information on students that may be of interest to the Attorney General.

WHEREAS, new legislation has been drafted entitled the Domestic Security Enhancement Act (DSEA) (also known as PATRIOT II) which contains numerous new law enforcement and intelligence-gathering powers, many of which are not related to terrorism, and which would severely dilute, if not undermine, many basic constitutional rights; and

WHEREAS, in response to the threats against civil liberties embodied in certain provisions of the PATRIOT ACT, legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate that would roll back certain provisions of the PATRIOT Act; therefore by the Town Council of the Town of Odessa be it

RESOLVED that we, the Town of Odessa in Delaware, join approximately 311 other U.S. communities (approximately 52 million citizens) in affirming its strong opposition to terrorism, and also affirm that any efforts to end terrorism not be waged at the expense of the fundamental civil rights and liberties of the people of Odessa, the United States, and the world; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that we affirm the rights of all people, including United States citizens and citizens of other nations, living within the Town of Odessa, in accordance with the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED that we reaffirm the concepts and doctrines promulgated in the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution by lawfully resisting every effort to erode those rights and protections including: freedom of religion, speech, assembly and privacy; protection from unreasonable searches and seizures; due process and equal protection to any person; equality before the law and the presumption of innocence; access to counsel in judicial proceedings; and a fair, speedy and public trial; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that we call on our United States Representative and Senators to monitor the implementation of the USA PATRIOT Act and the Orders in furtherance thereof and actively work for the repeal or amendment of those sections in the Act and those Orders that violate fundamental rights and liberties as stated in the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution, by sending a copy of this resolution to Senators Biden and Carper and Representative Castle; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that by sending a copy of this resolution to the Governor and Attorney General of Delaware, to the Chairpersons of both Houses of the Delaware General Assembly for public reading and inclusion in the record, to the United States Attorney General and the President, we encourage our elected and appointed officials to work for repeal or amendment of the USA PATRIOT Act and those Orders in furtherance thereof which undermine basic civil rights and liberties provided in the Bill of Rights and Constitution of both the state of Delaware and the United States of America.

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