AISC-Backed Morton Grove Sanctuary Letter Garners 130+ Signatures – Local Business, Religious Leaders, Elected Officials on Board

An Open Letter in support of the proposed Morton Grove Welcoming Ordinance, coordinated by AISC, Open Communities, and dedicated community members garnered over 130 (!!!) signatures from residents and community leaders including:

– Numerous church leaders and leaders of the Muslim Education Center;

– Businesses from small to medium to large, including LifeWay Foods, a publicly-traded company and one of MG’s largest employers;

– Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and State Sen. Daniel Biss

Thanks to all for your support, especially the dedicated community members who circulated the letter and gathered signatures. The letter has been delivered to all Village Trustees, the Village President, and all candidates for those positions.

Next, we address the Village Board again on Monday and raise the issue at the Candidate Forum!  AISC’s Jon Lahn will speak at a press conference prior to the Board meeting at Morton Grove Village Hall, 6101 Capulina Ave. at 6:30 PM on March 27.

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AISC At The Forefront of Morton Grove “Welcoming” Law

AISC continues to push for a “Welcoming Ordinance” in Morton Grove to provide security and peace of mind of all residents.  AISC seeks legislation to guarantee that local officials will not proactively gather information on individuals’ immigration status, condition any service or benefits on immigration status, or voluntarily detain individuals based solely on ICE requests or administrative warrants.

AISC launched the Morton Grove initiative in late January by submitting a proposed ordinance to the Village Board of Trustees.  After consultation with community members, AISC’s Jon Lahn subsequently addressed the Village Board on the topic on Monday, March 13.  Working with Open Communities, local faith groups, businesses and other community members, AISC has drafted an Open Letter to the current Board of Trustees and Board candidates that will be circulated on Monday, March 20 featuring the signatures of numerous community leaders and residents.  The Open Letter urges the Village to take swift action to ensure the fair and non-discriminatory treatment of those who live and work in the Morton Grove community.

The Morton Grove initiative is part of AISC’s “Project Safety Belt,” which seeks to establish protections for individuals regardless of immigration status in communities throughout the Chicago area.

 

 

Maine Township United! a Tremendous Success!

AISC’s Maine Township United! event at Dee Park in Des Plaines on March 12 was a resounding success.  Upwards of 100 attendees of all backgrounds came together to celebrate Maine Township’s diversity and commit to an inclusive future.

Speakers from the world of politics included Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, State Senators Daniel Biss and Laura Murphy, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ald. Ameya Pawar, and the entire slate of Maine Township Democrats.  Attendees also heard from Ahmed Rehab, Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations – Chicago, student leaders from Maine West and Maine East high schools, and the Des Plaines Islamic Community Center.

AISC’s Jon Lahn capped the event off with a call for continued collaboration on diversity initiatives, noting that AISC is at work on a Welcoming Community ordinance in Morton Grove and is beginning to organize similar efforts in Niles, Des Plaines and Park Ridge.

Pictures from the event are featured below.

 

 

 

Maine Township United! Updates

In the short time since our last post on the Maine Township United! event scheduled for March 12 at 1 PM at Dee Park, Des Plaines, we have had a few exciting developments to share:

Confirmed Speakers! Representative Jan Schakowsky, State Senator Daniel Biss, and Chicago Alderman and Democratic Candidate for Illinois Governor Ameya Pawar are all confirmed to attend and say a few words.  Plus we are looking at a few additions still to be confirmed.  Each of these speakers is an outstanding leader and will share their thoughts on the current situation and the path forward.

Rain or Shine:  Thanks to the fine folks at the Golf Maine Park District we have secured an indoor option of using the Dee Park gymnasium if conditions do not allow us to proceed outdoors.

Information Available: In addition to demonstrating our solidarity and commitment to a diverse, inclusive Maine Township, we will have information available regarding future events and how to get involved in AISC’s various ongoing local projects in the area.MaineTownship - New

 

 

 

Join AISC for Maine Township United! March 12, 2017 – Dee Park, Des Plaines @ 1 PM

Come together and show your support for a diverse and inclusive community! Maine Township is famous for its ethnic and religious diversity, which has benefited all of us  for generations. Today, hate, prejudice and anti-immigrant sentiment threaten our community on the national and local level. Hate groups are meeting in our public spaces, our religious communities are subjected to anonymous threats, immigration raids and deportations are on the horizon.

On March 12, we stand up as a community for the values of peace, diversity and respect for all! Join AISC, Democratic Candidate for Governor of Illinois Ameya Pawar and more as Maine Township Unites!

More details to follow. Contact Jon Lahn at solidaritychicago@gmail.com for more information.

Facebook Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/157964384711258/

 

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Draft Text for Your Congressional Representative re:Bill to Protect Federal Employees Who Refuse to Violate the Constitution

“Re: AISC Bill to Protect Federal Employees Who Refuse to Violate the Constitution

Like many of your constituents, I am concerned about the Trump Administration’s disregard for the Constitution.  In this environment, federal employees have been and will continue to be asked to perform actions that violate the constitutional rights of others. But if they follow their conscience and the Constitution, the Trump Administration will have difficulty enforcing its will on the American people.

That’s why I support the draft bill provided to you by Americans in Solidarity – Chicago, which would enhance existing protections for federal employees to provide a monetary remedy for those who experience adverse employment actions for refusing to perform an order that violates the Constitution.  Although it is already illegal to retaliate against them for refusing to break the law, they do not have the monetary recourse that the proposed bill provides.  This will provide a meaningful remedy for those who are brave enough to stand up for the Constitution.

In this time of crisis we rely upon our Democratic Representatives for strong, meaningful opposition.  Therefore, I encourage you to examine the bill carefully and work to have it formally introduced before Congress as soon as possible.”

AISC Drafts Bill to Provide Remedies for Federal Employees Who Refuse Orders to Violate the Constitution

Solidarity also means solidarity with the federal employees who are being asked to violate the Constitution by the Trump Administration. Help AISC help the brave, principled federal employees who may be fired or otherwise disciplined for refusing to violate the Constitution! Here’s what AISC is doing on that front:

(1) The draft bill posted below was created by AISC to amend existing employee protections to allow federal employees to receive monetary damages if they are fired or experience adverse action for refusing to enforce a law or order that the Courts determine is unconstitutional. Print it out or copy it from our website and send it to your Congressional representative and ask them to introduce the bill!

(2) AISC is also offering to coordinate legal assistance for any employee who suffers adverse actions for refusing to violate the law – which is already prohibited by 5 U.S.C. 2302(9)(d). If you are or know someone who has been impacted by such an action, message us here, or e-mail solidaritychicago@gmail.com, with your contact information and we will be in touch. Please don’t get into details as it is not an attorney-client privileged communication!

 

DOWNLOAD HERE, TEXT BELOW: draft-bill

A BILL
To Amend Title 5, U.S. Code, Section 2302, to provide additional protection for federal employees who suffer a prohibited adverse employment action as a result of their refusal to adhere to the directives of an Executive Order, federal statute, or regulation that is deemed to be unconstitutional by a United States Court.
Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE
This Act may be cited as the “Enhanced Protection for Employees Honoring the Constitution” Act.
SECTION 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE
(a) Findings: The Congress finds that:
(1) The current Presidential administration has a demonstrated propensity for issuing executive orders that on their face raise serious Constitutional concerns and demanding that federal agencies implement them immediately, often with little or no guidance;
(2) The current Presidential administration has falsely claimed on at least one occasion that an executive order was reviewed and approved by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel although the Acting Attorney General of the United States refused to defend it because it was facially unconstitutional;
(3) The haphazard implementation of such orders of dubious constitutionality places federal employees in the difficult position of choosing between their duty to uphold the Constitution of the United States and their duty to follow directives from their superiors, including the President of the United States and his Cabinet members;
(4) Forcing employees to choose between their jobs and their respect for the Constitution is detrimental to employee morale as well as the basic principles of law and order;
(5) The protections of 5 U.S.C. §2302(b)(9)(D), which prohibits adverse employment actions against as subordinate for “refusing to obey an order that would require the individual to violate a law” are insufficient in that they do not provide a robust remedy for individuals who experience such adverse employment actions;
(6) The Constitution of the United States of America is the highest law of the land, and any executive order or enactment that purports to require action inconsistent with the Constitution, as the Constitution has been interpreted by the United States Court, by its nature requires an employee “to violate a law” as that term is used in 5 U.S.C. § 2302(b)(9)(D).
(b) Purpose: The purpose of this Act is to provide additional protections in the form of a monetary remedy for employees who suffer adverse employment actions as a result of their refusal to carry out or implement unconstitutional laws or orders. In creating such a remedy, Congress also hopes to deter the enactment or issuance of future unconstitutional laws and orders.
SECTION 3. ENHANCED REMEDY FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES WHO EXPERIENCE AN ADVERSE EMPLOYMENT ACTION AS A RESULT OF REFUSING TO CARRY OUT UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAWS OR ORDERS
(a) In General: Title 5, Section 2302 of the United States Code, is hereby amended as follows:
(1) the prohibited conduct described in Section 2302(b)(9) shall be amended to read as follows (added language in bold italics):
“(9) take or fail to take, or threaten to take or fail to take, any personnel action against any employee or applicant for employment because of—
(A) the exercise of any appeal, complaint, or grievance right granted by any law, rule, or regulation—
(i) with regard to remedying a violation of paragraph (8); or
(ii) other than with regard to remedying a violation of paragraph (8);
(B) testifying for or otherwise lawfully assisting any individual in the exercise of any right referred to in subparagraph (A)(i) or (ii);
(C) cooperating with or disclosing information to the Inspector General of an agency, or the Special Counsel, in accordance with applicable provisions of law; or
(D) for refusing to obey an order that would require the individual to violate a law, including an order that would require conduct inconsistent with the United States Constitution as interpreted by the United States Courts;
(2) the following subsection shall be added to Section 2302:
“(g) Monetary Remedy for Employees Who Suffer Prohibited Employment Action Under Section 2302(b)(9)(D) Relating to Unconstitutional Laws or Orders:
(1) Any federal employee who suffers an adverse employment action prohibited by Section 2302(9)(D) by virtue or refusing to obey an order or perform an action pursuant to a law, regulation or executive order that has been, or is later, determined to be unconstitutional by a United States Court of competent jurisdiction, shall be entitled to monetary damages from the United States Government equal to three times their actual damages arising from the adverse action;
(a) for the purposes of this subsection, “actual damages” means economic damages, including lost wages, and compensatory damages for physical or mental harm experienced as a result of the prohibited employment action;
(b) a claim under this subsection accrues upon the later of
(i) the prohibited employment action; or
(ii) a final decision of a United States District Court holding that the law, regulation or executive order upon which the employee’s claim is based was deemed unconstitutional;
(c) the trebling of damages provided for in subsection (g)(1) above is mandatory based upon a finding of liability and determination of actual damages; courts shall not have discretion to raise or lower the damages multiplier;
(d) a claim that has validly accrued as described in subsection (g)(1)(b) above shall not become invalid based upon conflicting rulings from other District Courts or subsequent appellate decisions, so long as there has been at least one valid final judgment of a District Court holding the law, regulation or executive order unconstitutional.
(2) The remedy provided in this subsection (g) does not replace or invalidate any other remedy the employee may have under any other federal or state statute or common law;
(3) A claim under this subsection may be brought within any court whose exercise of jurisdiction would otherwise be valid under the United States Constitution, including the District Court for the District in which the employee resides or was employed;
(4) This subsection creates a claim for relief against the United State Government only and shall not be deemed to create a cause of action against any individual.
(5) The remedy provided herein shall apply to all claims based on prohibited actions under Section 2302(9)(D) as amended that accrued on or after January 20, 2017.”