Newton Democrats Unanimously Call for TRUST Act in Newton and in MA

A photo of the overflow crowd at the December 1 meeting where activists called upon Newton officials to defend immigrants in our city. 

A photo of the overflow crowd at the December 1 meeting where activists called upon Newton officials to defend immigrants in our city. 

Scroll down below the press release for our "Action Center" with information about how you can help pass a TRUST ordinance in Newton.

December 1, 2016--Newton, MA: Nearly 200 Democratic activists unanimously called upon the City of Newton to pass a TRUST ordinance, also commonly referred to as a sanctuary city provision, to increase public confidence in local law enforcement by providing clear guidelines associated with federal immigration enforcement, arrests, and detentions.

At the meeting of the Newton Democratic City Committee which took place in Newton Highlands on Thursday evening, presentations by Sue Parsons, a representative of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition and Paul Glickman, a former federal prosecutor with expertise on immigration issues, were met with enthusiastic support.

"The response was overwhelming," said NDCC Chair Shawn Fitzgibbons. "People are responding to President-Elect Trump's promises to round up immigrants with a loud and clear message--Newton officials should take action now to protect immigrants in our city."

Several Newton City Councilors were present at the meeting and voiced support for a local ordinance. 

In addition, State Senator Cindy Creem spoke about a statewide TRUST act which will be introduced again to the legislature early next year. The NDCC also voted unanimously to endorse this statewide legislation.

The Newton Democratic City Committee has a membership of over 300 Newton residents that includes grassroots activists, local and statewide elected leaders. For more information contact Shawn Fitzgibbons at shawn@newtondems.org or (617) 997-2577. www.newtondems.org

Action center: Newton TRUST Act - prepared by Joe Katz and the Massachusetts Together We Can activist group - Scroll down for talking points, scripts and more. Lots of information.

Thanks for your work to make Newton a Welcoming City!

You can find talking points below. If you want to make phone calls to your elected officials, you can find sample scripts here, and if you’d like to send them an e-mail you can find sample drafts here.

*Becoming a Welcoming City Sends a Strong Message in A Scary Time*: Donald Trump was elected president after a campaign in which he demonized undocumented immigrants, and many are frightened about what’s going to happen now. It’s our responsibility to make them feel safe in their homes, to let them know we are going to stand by them. Passing a strong ordinance would do that – and tell the Trump Administration that we aren’t going to sit back quietly while they scapegoat people in that community.

*The Strong Ordinance Will Keep All Newton Residents Safe*: Undocumented immigrants who feel they can trust the police are more likely to report crimes. This protects them from people who will prey on them thinking they do not want to come in contact with city officials. It also helps us all by making sure that criminals don’t stay on the streets because the people they’re hurting are afraid to go to the police.

*The Strong Ordinance Secures Due Process and Gets Rid of Ambiguity About Police Priorities*: We are proud of the good work the police department, the schools and the city government as a whole have done to make immigrants feel safe and welcome in Newton, and to keep us safe. We do believe it is important that elected officials and members of the police uphold the oaths they took to the Constitutions of Massachusetts and the United States, and we are committed to due process for immigrants and leaving no ambiguity about our police focusing on criminal behavior rather than civil infractions. The strong ordinance helps us achieve all those goals.

*The Strong Ordinance Does Not Create New Dangers for Newton*: The Welcoming City ordinance will give everyone the same protection of law enforcement no matter what their immigration status. They do NOT stop police from arresting anyone who commits a crime. And our proposal makes exceptions that allows the police to cooperate with ICE over felons or anyone on the terrorist watch list.

*Our Current Policy is Not Enough*: The procedures we have in place now, and the weaker changes the mayor and Council President Scott Lennon are pushing that rely on them, have serious flaws. They’re simply too ambiguous to actually serve their purpose, vague guidelines when we need specific protections to make people feel safe. (This recent Globe article about a loophole in Boston’s Trust Act illustrates why specific protections are critical.)

*We Must Stand in Solidarity With Cities Throughout the Nation Who Are Fighting Back*: There are cities throughout the nation where ICE actions against immigrants and their families are every day concerns. These are people who have lived in the United States for a long time, who work hard and pay taxes and pay into Social Security, whose children are flourishing in our schools. And their worries will only get worse when Donald Trump takes office. We all must stand together against his harsh and inhumane plans for them, and with solidarity we can defeat him.

*If Trump Retaliates, The Constitution Is On Our Side*: Conservative Supreme Court justices have said the federal government can’t force cities to do their bidding. They’ve also made it clear the federal government can’t threaten us with taking away federal money if we don’t fall in line. If Trump tries to punish us for defying him, we can take him to court - along with thousands of cities and towns and the states of New York and California we are standing with. (You can read more about this here.)

CALLS TO THE MAYOR:

You can call Mayor Warren at 617-796-1100.

“Hi, I’m [name]. I’m calling because I’m disappointed the mayor is against making Newton a Welcoming City. Vague guidelines are not enough to make people feel safe.

“We are an open, fair, and tolerant city, and we must show progressive leadership. We should be working together with cities throughout the nation where ICE actions are every day concerns.

“We need to make it clear to the community of undocumented immigrants that we’ll stand with them, and to the Trump administration that we won’t let them scapegoat anyone. And we’ll all be safer when all Newton residents feel they can trust the police.

“We are proud of the good work the police department, the schools and the city government have done to make immigrants feel safe and secure in Newton and to protect us all. We are also committed to due process for immigrants, and leaving no ambiguity about our police focusing on criminal behavior rather than civil infractions.

“Please tell him I’m a voter, I’m paying attention, and I hope he will get behind our efforts.”

CALLS TO YOUR CITY COUNCILOR:

You can find contact information for your city councilors at this link: http://bit.ly/2gSAB7X. If you’re not sure who represents you, you can look it up here: http://bit.ly/2hA3PfW. Councilors Susan Albright, Jacob Auchincloss, Barbara Brousal-Glaser, Deborah Crossley, Vicki Danberg, Ruthanne Fuller, Jay Harney, Ted Hess-Mahan, Alison Leary and Emily Norton are already working for this proposal!

“Hi, I’m [name]. I’m calling to (ask you/thank you) for your support for making Newton a Welcoming City.

“We will all be safer when all Newton residents feel they can trust the police. Vague guidelines are not enough to get the job done.

“We need to make it clear to the community of undocumented immigrants that we’ll stand with them, and to the Trump administration that we won’t let them scapegoat anyone. We should be working together with communities throughout the nation where ICE actions are every day concerns.

“We are proud of the good work the police department, the schools and the city government have done to make immigrants feel safe and secure in Newton and to protect us all. We are also committed to due process for immigrants, and leaving no ambiguity about our police focusing on criminal behavior rather than civil infractions.

“(I appreciate you helping/can I count on you to help) us get this done?”

Thanks for your work to make Newton a Welcoming City!

You can find sample e-mails you can send to your elected officials below. If you want to make calls to them when you’re done, you can find sample scripts here, and talking points here.

E-MAILS TO THE MAYOR:

You can e-mail Mayor Setti Warren at swarren@newtonma.gov. (You should cc that e-mail to city clerk David Olson at dolson@newtonma.gov.)

Dear Mayor Warren,

I am writing to you in support of docket item #443-16(2), which proposes an ordinance amendment to make Newton a Welcoming City. I am disappointed you are against this strong ordinance, and I encourage you to reconsider.

With Donald Trump set to take office after having demonized and threatened undocumented immigrants, many of them are frightened about what’s going to happen next. We have a responsibility to do whatever we can to make them feel safe, and to let the Trump Administration know we will not stand idly by and watch anyone be harassed, abused or scapegoated. Becoming a Welcoming City will send that message.

In addition, this ordinance will make everyone in Newton safer. Undocumented immigrants who feel they can trust the police are more likely to report crimes. This protects them from people who will prey on them thinking they do not want to come in contact with city officials. It also helps us all by making sure that criminals don’t stay on the streets because the people they’re hurting are afraid to go to the police.

We are proud of the good work the police department, the schools and the city government as a whole have done to make immigrants feel safe and welcome in Newton, and to keep us safe. We do believe it is important that elected officials and members of the police uphold the oaths they took to the Constitutions of Massachusetts and the United States, and we are committed to due process for immigrants and leaving no ambiguity about our police focusing on criminal behavior rather than civil infractions. The strong ordinance helps us achieve all those goals.

It does not stop police from arresting anyone who commits a crime, and makes special exceptions that allow the city to cooperate with the federal government to deal with felons or those on the terrorist watch list.

The current policy in place is simply not enough, and your proposal that relies on it isn’t either. It is made of vague guidelines when we need specific protections to make people feel safe.

We in Newton can stand with cities throughout the nation where ICE actions against immigrants and their families are every day concerns. These are people who have lived in the United States for a long time, who work hard and pay taxes, whose children are flourishing in our schools. We all must work together against Donald Trump’s harsh and inhumane plans for them, and with solidarity we can defeat them.

This is a time that calls for bold, progressive leadership, especially from the leaders of a progressive city and state. I am a voter, I am paying attention, and I very much hope you will stand with us.

Sincerely,

XXX

E-MAILS TO YOUR CITY COUNCILOR:

You can find contact information for your city councilors at this link: http://bit.ly/2gSAB7X. If you’re not sure who represents you, you can look it up here: http://bit.ly/2hA3PfW. Councilors Susan Albright, Jacob Auchincloss, Barbara Brousal-Glaser, Deborah Crossley, Vicki Danberg, Ruthanne Fuller, Jay Harney, Ted Hess-Mahan, Alison Leary and Emily Norton are already working for this proposal!

Dear [[NAME]]:

I am writing to you in support of docket item #443-16(2), which proposes an ordinance amendment to make Newton a Welcoming City. I hope we can count on you to do everything you can to pass it into law.

With Donald Trump set to take office after having demonized and threatened undocumented immigrants, many of them are frightened about what’s going to happen next. We have a responsibility to do whatever we can to make them feel safe calling Newton home, and to let the Trump Administration know we will not stand idly by and watch anyone be harassed, abused or scapegoated. Becoming a Welcoming City will send that message.

In addition, this strong ordinance will improve make everyone in Newton safer. Undocumented immigrants who feel they can trust the police are more likely to report crimes. This protects them from people who will prey on them thinking they do not want to come in contact with city officials. It also helps us all by making sure that criminals don’t stay on the streets because the people they’re hurting are afraid to go to the police.

We are proud of the good work the police department, the schools and the city government as a whole have done to make immigrants feel safe and welcome in Newton, and to keep us safe. We do believe it is important that elected officials and members of the police uphold the oaths they took to the Constitutions of Massachusetts and the United States, and we are committed to due process for immigrants and leaving no ambiguity about our police focusing on criminal behavior rather than civil infractions. The strong ordinance helps us achieve all those goals.

It does not stop police from arresting anyone who commits a crime, and makes special exceptions that allow the city to cooperate with the federal government to deal with felons or those on the terrorist watch list.

The current policy in place is simply not enough, and the weaker proposal that relies on it isn’t either. It is made of vague guidelines when we need specific protections to make people safe.

We in Newton can stand with cities throughout the nation where ICE actions against immigrants and their families are every day concerns. These are people who have lived in the United States for a long time, who work hard and pay taxes, whose children are flourishing in our schools. We all must work together against Donald Trump’s harsh and inhumane plans for them, and with solidarity we can defeat him.

I hope that we can count on you to show leadership in this troubling time and fight for this strong ordinance. I look forward to seeing where you stand.

Sincerely,

XXX