Population (2000 Census): 12,698
Date Passed: 07/20/04
A Resolution to Protect Civil Liberties
Approved by: Tumwater City Council
WHEREAS, the City of Tumwater is proud of its long and distinguished tradition of protecting the civil rights and liberties of its residents; and
WHEREAS, the City of Tumwater has a diverse population, including immigrants and students, whose contributions to the community are vital to its economy, culture and civic character; and
WHEREAS, the City of Tumwater affirms an abhorrence of and opposition to global terrorism and maintains and unqualified support for the men and women serving in our armed forces to protect our freedoms; and
WHEREAS the preservation of civil rights and liberties is essential to the well-being of a democratic society; and
WHEREAS, federal, state and local governments should protect the public from terrorist attacks such as those that occured on September 11, 2001, but should do so in a rational and deliberate fashion to ensure that any new security measure enhances public safety without impairing constitutional rights or infringing on civil liberties; and
WHEREAS government security measures that undermine fundamental rights do damage to the American institutions and values that the City of Tumwater holds dear; and
WHEREAS the Council of the City of Tumwater believes that there is no inherent conflict between national security and preservation of personal liberties - Americans can be both safe and free; and
WHEREAS some federal policies adopted since September 11, 2001, including provisions of the USA PATRIOT ACT (Public Law 107-56) and related executive orders, regulations and actions, threaten fundamental rights and liberties by;
A) authorizing the indefinite incarceration of non-citizens based on mere suspicion and indefinite incarceration of citizens designated by the President as "enemy combatants" without access to counsel or meaningful recourse to the federal courts;
B) limiting the traditional authority of federal courts to control law enforcement abuse of electronic surveillance in anti-terrorism investigations and ordinary criminal investigations;
C) expanding the authority of federal agents to conduct so-called "sneak and peek" or "black bag" searches, in which the subject of the search warrant is unaware that his property has been searched;
D) granting law enforcement and intelligence agencies broad access to personal medical, financial, library and educational records with little, if any, judicial oversight;
E) chilling constitutionally protected speech through overly-broad definitions of "terrorism;" and
WHEREAS new legislation has been drafted by the Administration entitled the Domestic Security Enhancement Act (DSEA) (also known as PATRIOT II) which contains a multitude of new and sweeping law enforcement and intelligence gathering powers, which may dilute, if not undermine, many basic constitutional rights, as well as disturb our unique system of checks and balances; and
WHEREAS these new powers pose a particular threat to the civil rights and liberties of the residents of our city who are or are percieved to be Arab, Muslim or South Asian descent; and
WHEREAS many other communities throughout the country have enacted resolutions reaffirming support for civil rights and civil liberties in the face of government policies that threaten these values and demand accountability from the law enforcement agencies regarding their use of these new powers.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE CITY COUNCIL OF TUMWATER:
1. Affirms its strong support for fundamental constitutional rights and its opposition to federal measures that infringe on civil liberties.
2. Affirms its strong support for the rights of immigrants and opposed measures that single out individuals for legal scrutiny or enforcement activity based solely on their country of origin.
3. Affirms its desire that all private citizens and organizations, including residents, employers and educators, and business owners, demonstrate respect for civil rights and civil liberties, especially, but not limited to, conditions of emplyment.
4. Directs the Mayor the instruct all Employees of the City of Tumwater to:
A) Refrain, to the extent legally possible, from officially assisting or voluntarily cooperating with investigations, interrogations, or arrest procedures, public or clandestine, that are in violation of individuals' civil rights or civil liberties as specified in the United States Constitution;
B) Promptly communicate with the Mayor for transmittal to the City Attorney in the event that a request is made to a City employee receiving such request, is contrary to or in violation of hte Constitutional protections afforded to any person in Tumwater;
C) Continue to carry out investigations without regard to race, religion, ethnicity or national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender,economic status, marital status, citizenship status, or disability as a factor in selecting which the individuals are subject to investigatory activities, unless such information directly relates to an investigation or to criminal activities.
5. Directs the Mayor to:
Transmit a Copy of this Resolution to Senator Patty Murray, Senator Maria Cantwell and Congressman Brian Baird accompanied by a letter urging them to:
- Support Congression efforts to asses the impacts of the USA PATRIOT Act;
- Monitor federal anti-terrorism tactics and work to repeal provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act and other laws and regualtions that infringe on civil rights and libertes;
- Ensure that provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act "sunset" in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
6. Directs the Mayor to transmit a copy of this Resolution to the State Governor and appropriate members of the State Legislature, accompanied by a letter urging them to ensure that state anti-terrorism laws and policies be implemented in a manner that does not infringe on civil liberties as described in this Resolution.
7. Directs the Mayor to transmit a copy of this Resolution to President Bush and Attorny General Ashcroft.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the provisions of this Resolution shall be severable, and if any phase, clause, sentence, or provision of this Resolution is declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be contrary to the Constitution of the United States or of the State of Washington or the applicability thereof to any agency, person, or circumstances is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this Resolution and the applicability thereof to any other agency, person or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
Community Group / Coalition: Thurston County Coalition to Protect the Constitution