Local communities can safeguard the civil rights and liberties of their residents by enacting local laws that can put your community on the offensive and put a cog in any President’s plans to trample on the Bill of Rights. BORDC/DDF model ordinances contain provisions that:
- Declare that all people, regardless of race, religion, national origin, immigration status, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation are welcome in the community.
- Prohibit discriminatory profiling
- Prohibit or limit local law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.
- Prohibit undercover infiltration or spying on activist groups or religious institutions.
- Protect social media from the prying eyes of the state.
We encourage you to join forces with others in your community to launch a campaign to pass local legislation. Our templates were written to respond to community concerns after the 2016 election. They are designed to be agile and adaptable in order to meet the different needs of diverse communities nationwide. Tooled to be supported by unconventional coalitions, these bills will empower you to take action to defend your rights and those of your neighbors.
- Model Resolution to Defend Rights and Dissent (PDF) (Word)
- Model Ordinance to Protect Against Discriminatory Profiling and Limit Surveillance, Intelligence Collection, and Immigration Enforcement Activities (PDF) (Word)
- Model Ordinance to Protect First Amendment Rights and Online Privacy (PDF) (Word)
- Explainer: What do the laws and resolution do? (PDF)
- Grassroots organizing toolkit
Sign up here for more information, updates, and resources as they are developed.
Additional model local ordinances focus on surveillance and transparency:
Resolutions allow your town or state to send a message to the federal government
Resolution opposing military detention and supporting the right to trial. In 2011, the National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law. It includes a provisions that could allow indefinite and arbitrary military detention, without a trial or day in court, of anyone accused of any “belligerent act” or terror-related offense—including “material support” allegations based strictly on speech or association. It essentially subjects everyone within the US (including citizens, legal residents, and visitors) to the same lawless standards at work in Guantánamo Bay.
Resolution for accountability for torture offers an opportunity for municipalities and states to call on the federal government to pursue transparency and accountability through an independent commission and prosecution of all government officials complicit in degrading treatment.
Local Civil Liberties Protection Act
The Local Civil Liberties Protection Act (LCLPA) protects the fundamental rights and liberties by promoting transparency and accountability and prohibiting or limiting law enforcement engagement in:
- unwarranted surveillance
- immigration enforcement and information sharing with federal authorities
- undercover infiltration of activist groups and religious institutions
- cooperation with military personnel
- over-policing or restricting protests
The LCLPA is a template written to be agile and adaptable in order to meet the different needs of diverse communities nationwide. Tooled to be supported by unconventional coalitions, the LCLPA will empower you to take action in defense of the Bill Of Rights where you live.
On Monday, November 21, Cambridge Mayor Denise Simmons introduced an ordinance to require transparency and oversight of police surveillance technology.
Last week, the Dissent NewsWire reported on ballot initiatives to watch during the 2016 elections. Election day turned out favorably for marijuana legalization, but other civil liberties did not fair nearly as well. In particular, we saw major losses in regards to the death penalty, the right to assemble, and reforming the prison system.
Cities can offer shelter and protection to their vulnerable citizens and become a place progressives can exert real power.
We can’t count on Congress to be a check on a gross overreach of Executive Branch powers. But we can look to our own local governments. We can draw a line in the sand around our towns, cities, counties and even a few states. The wall of resistance starts at home.
Happy Birthday Patriot Act! For Fifteen Years You Have Done Your Best to Crush Democracy. But You Haven’t Won Yet.
On the bright side: BORDC was formed on the heels of the passage of the PATRIOT Act, so at least there’s that.