General Public Meeting Minutes

January 28, 2003

The meeting was called to order at 7:25 PM by Stephen Souza on Tuesday, January 28, 2003. This meeting was held in the Blanchard Room at the Davis Branch of the Yolo County Library.

Board members present were:
President: Steve Souza,
Vice President: Barbara Slemmons,
Recording Secretary: G Richard Yamagata,
Treasurer: Betty Weir
Publicity: Barbara Slemmons,
Past President: Bob Bockwinkel,
Board members: Mary Lou Hernandez, Max Roth, Julia Sanchez, Jim Pollock, Jerry Lester, and Susan Peter-Thompson

There were also over 40 members of the public present.

Stephen Souza introduced the topic of the Patriot Act -- HR 3612 [click here for text of the Patriot Act].

Stephen next introduced Ellie Fairclaw from the office of our House Representative, Mike Thompson. Ellie read a statement from Mike Thompson:

"While the Patriot Act gave law enforcement some necessary tools to keep up with technological advances being used by those who would do harm to our country, it did not abolish our responsibility to make sure that the civil rights of law abiding citizens are protected. I fought to include a 4 year sunset provision specifically so we could revisit how the legislation was being applied. I will support amendments or even work for repeal of the bill if legislative oversight determines that abuses are taking place. We also need to realize that many questionable actions such as detaining American citizens and denying them access to counsel or incarcerating individuals indefinitely on immigration charges are not part of the Patriot Act. Our vigilance must also include a thorough review of these actions. We need to find a critical balance that protects our citizens and our country but it cannot come at the expense of our fundamental civil rights."

Stephen then introduced Dave Rosenberg who announced that a 3 page resolution was adopted by the Yolo County Board of Supervisors by a 4 to 0 vote with one abstention, that objected to the Patriot Act on the basis of the Constitution of the United States. The resolution was introduced by Frank Seiferman Jr and seconded by Dave Rosenberg. Again, it was was passed with 4 votes with one abstention.

There was a question by a Mrs Friedman. Was there a sunset provision? Do people have recourse if they see abuses?

Adrian Kandell was introduced by Stephen Souza to address the issues. Adrian stated that there is a sunset provision in the bill. Adrian stated that the Patriot Act is 360 pages long and that it violates Amendment 4, Amendment 5, Amendment 6 and Amendment 14 of the US Constitution, citing examples of abuses that have occurred. Adrian also quoted examples of abuses that have occurred on the Internet and flow of information that have been followed and noted by the EFF [click here to read about EFF and Patriot Act]

Mayor of Davis and Davis Democrat Club member, Susie Boyd, arrived at the meeting at 7:40 PM. Stephen introduced both her and the City of Davis resolution against the Patriot Act that was penned by the Yolo County ACLU and amended by the City of Davis Human Relations Commission. Present Commissioners, Bill Ritter and Cecilia Escamelia-Greenwald were introduced by Stephen.

Bill Ritter stated that he came to support and endorse the resolution as it was approved by the Human Relations Commission. Bill further stated his case, citing abuses including illegal wiretapping and surveillance. A motion was made by Bill Ritter that the Davis Democrat Club endorse the resolution authored by the Yolo County ACLU and amended by the Human Relations Commision and submitted to the City Council of Davis. Adrian Kandell seconded the motion.

Cecelia Escamelia-Greenwald-Greenwald sumarized points in the 6 page document [click here for text of the resolution]. Present in the audience were the following present and former members of the Davis Human Relations Commission: former Commissioner Tansy, present Commissioner Aren Sen, and former chairman and Commissioner Stephen Souza. It was announced that on the 12th of February, the Davis City Council will look at the resolution submitted by the Human Relations Commission and call for a vote.

As an aside, Susie Boyd asked about a resolution on the War in Iraq. It was stated that the Human Relations Commission was drafting a resolution against the war in Iraq.

Davis Democrat Club board member, Bob Bockwinkel, spoke in support of the club resolution. Davis Democrat Club board member, Barbara Slemmons, spoke in support of the club resolution and cited further incidences where citizens were illegally detained.

Former Yolo County Supervisor Betsy Marchand called for a vote. The resolution was: The Davis Democrat Club endorses and supports the resolution prepared by the Yolo County ACLU and amended by the Davis Human Relations Commission. The Davis Democrat Club also urges the City Council of Davis to adopt the resolution at the February 12th meeting.

With the support of Susie Boyd, there are at least 4 votes for the resolution in the council. The yea votes are Boyd, Pontillo, Greenwald, and Harrington. It is now expected to pass the council on February 12.

The vote was taken. It was passed unaminously. There were no nays nor abstentions.

With the support of Susie Boyd, there are at least 4 votes for the resolution in the council. The yea votes are Boyd, Pontillo, Greenwald, and Harrington. It is now expected to pass the council on February 12.

Signatures of Davis Democrat Club members were then taken from the audience with Cecilia Excameila as the keeper of the signatures. Signature collection continued for the rest of the evening until the closing of the meeting.

Cecilia asked how can the club do more than just pass the resolution. Tansy suggested that we consider making the City of Davis a sanctuary city. Barbara Slemmons stated that she believed that Davis was already a sanctuary city.

Bill Ritter proposed the resolution that Davis Democratic Club send a letter to all elected officials and to the Democratic Central Committee and head Art Torres, urging for the repeal of the Patriot Act. This resolution was seconded by Joyce Sanchez. This passed unaminously. No nay votes were noted.

Cecilia Escamelia-Greenwald moved that the club write letters to the Davis Enterprise, the California Aggie and the Woodland Democrat informing them of the club action this night. This was seconded by Max Roth. A vote was called by Stephen Souza for ayes. No vote was called for nays or abstentions at this point in time.

It was stated that there will be a Davis Democratic Club meeting on March 25th to honor the contributions to Yolo County made by Tony Bernhard. Electeds from around the region and Sacramento will be invited to come and speak at this event. A plaque will be presented to Tony by the Davis Democrat Club.

The meetings was adjourned by Stephen Souza at 8:10 PM

These minutes are respectfully submitted by:
G Richard Yamagata

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updated by
G.Richard Yamagata. Last updated: January, 2003

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