passing a resolution
against the USA Patriot Act
1.Find out if your city has a Human Rights Commission.
2. Seek assistance from your local ACLU chapter
3. Meet with the HRC members individually and gain their support who will help you to put your resolution on the City Council agenda.
4. Before the City Council meeting discussion on the resolution, meet with the city mayor, city manager, council members and the Chief of Police. Provide them with the copy of the resolutions. Also provide them with the copies of a few sample resolutions passed against the Patriot Act. For example, the City of Palo Alto has one of the toughest resolutions against the USA Patriot Act. We achieved that with the support of the HRC, the mayor, council members and the Chief of Police. The resolution was passed unanimously in Palo Alto.
5. Involve as many individuals, organizations and peace and justice groups as possible.
6. Train the community members to be knowledgeable and effective speakers on the Patriot Act.
7. Always involve the targeted communities such as Arabs, Muslims and South Asians. They will bring the first hand stories of how the USA Patriot Act has impacted them.
Comments from AMV Executive Director, Ms. Samina Faheem: I have personally assisted one county and six cities in passing the resolution against the Patriot Act. The lesson I learned personally is to be persistent. Nothing is final until the vote has been accounted for. For instance, we met with a city councilmember who we were told was swaying towards voting against the resolution and was unlikely to be persuaded. After we spent an hour with him sharing personal stories of how the Patriot Act has taken our civil liberties away, he chose to support the resolution.