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To: Insert Name of Local Government Here
Sample Petition for a Local Resolution on Drones
Please join the growing list of localities taking action on drones. Steps that others have taken and you can take include: urging the federal government to stop killing people with missiles from drones, urging your state government to ban the use of weaponized drones and to ban the use in court of information gained through drone surveillance, committing your local government not to use weaponized or surveillance drones, banning or restricting drone use in your locality.
Why is this important?
In the absence of state or federal laws, localities around the United States are proceeding to put unmanned aerial vehicles in our skies as they see fit. The federal government has authorized the flight of 30,000 drones, and the use of drones up to 400 feet by police departments, at least 300 of which already have surveillance drones in operation.
Drones are not safe. Surveillance by drones cannot comply with the Fourth Amendment. And the arming of drones with tear gas and rubber bullets, already under way in many U.S. localities, is an outrageous threat to our First Amendment right to assemble and petition our governments for a redress of grievances.
City councilors and members of boards of supervisors take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States. Cities and towns routinely send petitions to Congress for all kinds of requests. This is allowed under Clause 3, Rule XII, Section 819, of the Rules of the House of Representatives. This clause is routinely used to accept petitions from cities, and memorials from states, all across America. The same is established in the Jefferson Manual, the rulebook for the House originally written by Thomas Jefferson for the Senate.
In 1967, a court in California ruled (Farley v. Healey, 67 Cal.2d 325) that “one of the purposes of local government is to represent its citizens before the Congress, the Legislature, and administrative agencies in matters over which the local government has no power. Even in matters of foreign policy it is not uncommon for local legislative bodies to make their positions known.”
Abolitionists passed local resolutions against U.S. policies on slavery. The anti-apartheid movement did the same, as did the nuclear freeze movement, the movement against the PATRIOT Act, the movement in favor of the Kyoto Protocol, etc.
Here are resolutions that have already passed and other resources:
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