WHEREAS, the Constitution of the United States of America and its Bill of Rights, along with the Constitution of the State of Oregon, guarantee certain liberties to all Oregonians, including:
Freedom of speech and peaceful assembly; Established rights in judicial proceedings, including presumption of innocence, due process, legal counsel and probable cause;
Protection from unreasonable searches and seizures;
WHEREAS, the sanctity of these precious liberties may be threatened by certain new laws, including “United and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001” (also known as the USA PATRIOT ACT), several executive orders, the Homeland Security Act, and the proposed Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 (also known as PATRIOT ACT II);
WHEREAS, residents of Wheeler have expressed alarm about the pursuit of security without appropriate protection of Constitutional rights;
WHEREAS, the Wheeler City Council is committed to upholding the United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights, and the Oregon State Constitution and its Bill of Rights; and
WHEREAS, it is generally accepted that unwarranted secrecy is antithetical to a true democracy and that actions undertaken by secret indictment or process undermine established norms for civil discourse between government and those whom it would govern;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE CITY OF WHEELER:
Section 1. Submit a letter to the Oregon Congressional Delegation conveying the concerns of Wheeler residents regarding the USA PATRIOT ACT, including but not limited to the following:
· Monitoring political and religious gatherings;
· Obtaining library records, bookstore records, and internet records without proper authorization and without notification;
· Issuing subpoenas through the United States Attorney’s Office without a court’s approval or knowledge;
· Eavesdropping on confidential communications between lawyers and their clients;
· Entering private residences, businesses and organizations without consent, before serving a search warrant;
· Engaging in racial profiling and detention without charges; and
· Withholding information from Congress and public on actions taken under these laws.
Section 2. Urge members of the Oregon Congressional Delegation to actively work for the revocation of any sections of the USA PATRIOT ACT, any proposed new Federal legislation and Executive Orders that limit or violate fundamental rights and liberties embodied in the Municipal Ordinances of the City of Wheeler, the Constitution of the State of Oregon and of the United States.
Section 3. Request the City Manager to instruct City Employees to continue practices and policies favoring and protecting Constitutional rights and liberties.
Section 4. Declare December 15, the federally designated “Bill of Rights Day,” as a day of formal City celebration of the liberties and protections afforded by the Constitutional amendments known as the Bill of Rights.
Section 5. Direct the City Manager to transmit copies of this Resolution to the Governor of the State of Oregon, Wheeler’s State legislative delegation, Wheeler’s delegation in the United States Congress, and the President of the United States; and
Section 6. Consider this Resolution effective on the date of its passage.
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