Pass the Surveillance Ordinance in Cambridge!





What: Cambridge City Hall Meeting to discuss Surveillance Ordinance

When: Mon Nov 21st at 5:30 PM

UU Mass Action has endorsed this ordinance and we are calling on Cambridge residents to attend the meeting and support it, as well.

You can learn many more details about what this ordinance says and does by visiting, an ACLU site. It has been endorsed by many other national civil rights and civil liberties groups, including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC), the Center for Democracy and Technology, Campaign Zero, the Leadership Conference, Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, the National Network for Arab American Communities, the NAACP, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, and the Tenth Amendment Center.

This effort is part of a national movement on the part of ACLU, Restore The Fourth, and EFF to secure surveillance oversight ordinances in cities and towns across the country. Santa Clara, California (Silicon Valley) passed one recently by a unanimous vote, and cities from New York to New Mexico and many places in between are also organizing to pass the ordinance.

This fact sheet contains detailed information about what the ordinance does:

Important Note:

Monday the 21st is not a “hearing.” It will, instead, be a regular City Council meeting at which the Ordinance will be introduced.

City Council meetings have a number of parts. These are the ones of interest:

1) Public Comment

2) City Manager’s Agenda

3) Policy Orders


1) Public Comment: Any member of the public has 3 minutes to address any topic on the agenda. You sign up to talk either by calling the City Clerk’s office or signing a sheet sometime between 5:30 and 6:30. Public comment starts shortly after 5:30(whenever there’s actually a quorum of the council on the floor).

2) City Manager’s Agenda. This only matters to us because it occupies time between public comment and Policy Orders.

3) Policy Orders. Sometime before the Thursday prior to the meeting, Denise Simmons will submit, to the city clerk, our policy orders. They’ll appear on the Council agenda. The Councilors request that certain orders be “pulled”, meaning that they want them discussed. Ours will certainly be pulled. Then, the Councilors discuss among themselves what to do about the order, propose amendments, etc. No one, besides the Council speaks, which is why this isn’t a hearing. Once the council is done talking, someone makes a motion to do something about the order. In our case, it should be that the order be sent to the Ordinance Committee, where there will be a hearing.

So, this isn’t a hearing. This is Mayor Simmons formally proposing the ordinance and the Council deciding the process by which it will be considered. We do need Cambridge residents and organizations to make statements at public comment.

The ordinance will be introduced on November 21, 2016 at the 5:30 PM meeting at Cambridge City Hall. We expect the ordinance will be sent to the Ordinance Committee, which will hold a hearing on it at a later date.

Get the word out to your Cambridge constituencies

Here’s the ACLU outreach link. Please share!

More Good News for Monday 

A policy order will be issued reaffirming Cambridge as a Sanctuary / Trust City!

On Monday this order will be presented, sponsored by Marc McGovern and co-sponsored by Mayor Denise Simmons, and Councillors Devereax and Mazen:

Whereas: Cambridge was one of the first cities in the United States to declare itself a Sanctuary City on April 8, 1985 and reaffirmed that commitment in 2006 and

Whereas: Cambridge is a city proud of its diversity, immigrant population and being a welcoming city to people from around the world and

Whereas: Non-Resident citizens of Cambridge are valuable members of the community, working, paying taxes, sending their children to public schools and being law abiding neighbors and

Whereas: According to the 2014 American Communities Survey conducted by the US Census, Cambridge has over 30,000 foreign-born residents, with more than half being non-citizens and

Whereas: Many non-citizens have come under attack, both physically and emotionally, due to the rhetoric in the 2016 Presidential election promulgated by President-Elect Donald Trump and

Whereas: Following the election of President-Elect Trump, stories have circulated, including here in Cambridge, of verbal and physical assault of people of color and

Whereas: While running for President, then candidate Trump indicated that if he were elected he would stop all Federal funding for Sanctuary Cities, also known as Trust Act Cities and

Whereas: Cambridge has a strong and deep commitment to diversity and is proud of being a city that welcomes people from all around the world and is dedicated to ensuring that anyone living in Cambridge, legal resident or not, can live in peace, safety and be afforded protection from physical or emotional abuse, intimidation or discrimination therefore be it

Ordered: That the Cambridge City Council go on record reaffirming Cambridge’s commitment as a Sanctuary/Trust Act City and that further be it

Ordered: That the Cambridge City Council requests that the City Manager commit to funding any and all programs that may be in jeopardy should the Federal Government stop funding Sanctuary Cities and further be it

Ordered: That the City Manager is hereby requested to send a letter to all Cambridge organizations working with immigrant populations, as well as all City Departments reminding them of our Sanctuary/Trust Act City status and what that means for working with non-citizens and what resources are available to anyone experiencing physical or emotional abuse or discrimination for further be it

Ordered: That the City Council encourages all residents of Cambridge and around the United States to treat each other with kindness and peace and to value our differences as the most diverse country on earth.

Joint Statement of Cambridge Mayor E. Denise Simmons and City Manager Louis A. DePasquale Regarding Cambridge as a Sanctuary City

The recent national political climate has generated considerable concern and anxiety on the part of many Cambridge residents, especially members of our immigrant communities. The City of Cambridge wants to clearly state to our community that it is committed to supporting and promoting the safety, health, and well-being of all of its residents. As a Sanctuary City, Cambridge affirms the basic human rights and dignity of every human being and provides education, health and other services to all residents of Cambridge, regardless of their immigration status.

“The City of Cambridge has been a Sanctuary City since April 1985, when the City Council first took steps to protect and support refugees fleeing from political violence and human rights violations in El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti,” said Cambridge Mayor E. Denise Simmons. “In 1999, the City Council expanded that support to all residents, regardless of immigration status, and has regularly reaffirmed that over the last 20 years. Today, the City of Cambridge remains just as committed to all of our residents as we have been over the past 31 years.”

The City provides support and resources ranging from a Cambridge Immigrant Rights Commission to programming at the Cambridge Community Learning Center to a Community Engagement Team that works to connect hard to reach populations with City services.

“Every Cambridge resident – regardless of their status – is encouraged to seek and obtain assistance from the many resources available to the Cambridge community. Cambridge remains a welcoming community for all,” said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale.

Furthermore, a core principle of the Cambridge Police Department’s Community Policing philosophy is that all community members are encouraged to seek and obtain police assistance and protection, regardless of their specific immigration and/or documentation status. The enforcement of the nation’s civil immigration laws are the primary responsibility of the federal government and the Cambridge Police Department does not undertake immigration-related investigations and does not routinely inquire into the specific immigration status of any person encountered during normal police operations.

As Mayor and City Manager of Cambridge, we remain committed to the City’s Sanctuary City status and the services and support that we provide to the Cambridge Community.

Mayor E. Denise Simmons
City Manager Louis A. DePasquale

The full text of the Cambridge Police Department’s Secure Communities & ICE Detainers policy is available at

Past City Council Policy Orders are available at

Info and details provided by Gabriel Camacho, our partner at American Friends Service Committee

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