Tuesday, April 24 - Oppose SB 3053 / Oppose Thomas Farr for Federal Judgeship / Override Veto of Gun Dealer Licensing

Actions You Can Take Today

  • Action 1: Sign a witness slips to oppose SB 3053 (opponent)

  • Action 2: Call on Senators to oppose anti-voting rights Thomas Farr for federal judgeship.

    • Senator Duckworth | DC: 202-224-2854 | Chicago 312-886-3506

    • Senator Durbin | DC: 202-224-2152 | Chicago 312-353-4952

  • Action 3: Call on your state Senator to override Rauner’s veto of the Gun Dealer Licensing bill (SB 1657)


Action 1: Sign a Witness Slip to Oppose SB 3053

Barely two weeks after Zuckerberg testified before Congress because Facebook misused your data, Illinois legislators are working to ease privacy protections.

Currently, Illinois has some of the strongest protections on biometric data. Corporations have convinced legislators that is should be easier to capture and use your fingerprints, iris scans, facial recognition, etc. This has lead to SB 3053, a bill that ostensibly modifies the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) to “provide employers the ability to use biometric information for internal employment purposes, so long as the employer is not using the information for commercial purposes”; however, corporate lobbyists from Facebook, Google, and the telecom industry have thrown the kitchen sink into this bill to nullify the entire Act. They attempted to sneak through an amendment to do this two years ago but failed.

Today, BIPA expressly prohibits companies from deriving this data from photographs and video. Corporations must ask you to for your consent to sit down for a scan. This bill removes these protections, exempting any corporate entity that derives this information from videos and high-resolution digital photographs, allowing them to collect your biometric data without your knowledge or consent.

In addition to consent, BIPA requires corporations to treat your biometric data as confidential and sensitive information. This bill changes it to only protect biometric data that is linked to other confidential and sensitive information. This is a massive shift in the protections of your biometric data.

To make matters worse, it’s Democrats who have introduced and are pushing SB 3053. The same people counting on you for votes!

So what can you do? Fill out a witness slip in opposition to SB 3053.

  1. Click here to view the witness slip

  2. Fill out I. IDENTIFICATION.

  3. Leave "II. REPRESENTATION" blank (unless you actually are representing an organization)

  4. III. POSITION: select "Opponent"

  5. IV. TESTIMONY: select "Record of Appearance Only


Action 2: Oppose Thomas Farr for Federal Judgeship

Attorney Thomas Farr, Trump’s nominee for a lifetime judgeship with the US District Court for Eastern North Carolina, has a long history of advocating for policies that disenfranchise black voters. For example, Farr defended a North Carolina voter ID law that prevented an estimated 30,000 voters from participating on the 2014 election. A federal court found the law unconstitutional because it was designed "with almost surgical precision" to discourage black voters from voting. Farr also defended North Carolina's gerrymandered political districts, which the Supreme Court found to be unconstitutional because they were drawn to dilute black voters’ electoral impact.

The seat that Farr would fill has remained open longer than any other federal court vacancy because Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) refused to approve President Obama's original nominees for this position (despite Burr having recommended one of the nominees to Obama himself). Once again, Republicans plan to fill a judgeship stolen from the Obama administration with an anti-civil rights, anti-voting rights attorney who would actively work to suppress black voters.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to advance Farr for final confirmation in October 2017; however, Democrats in the Senate blocked his confirmation. Trump resubmitted Farr's nomination, meaning the Senate Judiciary Committee will be voting on Farr's nomination again. 

The courts provide an essential check on the Trump administration's crusade against progressive policies and electoral fairness; the court rulings against the discriminatory policies Farr has defended demonstrate the need for federal judges who are committed to protecting voting rights. 

Call on Senators to oppose Farr’s nomination.

Call Senator Duckworth | DC: 202-224-2854 | Chicago 312-886-3506
Call Senator Durbin | DC: 202-224-2152 | Chicago 312-353-4952

Script: Hi, my name is {NAME} and I'm a constituent in the {ZIP CODE} and member of Indivisible. I'm calling to express my opposition to Thomas Farr's nomination for a federal judgeship. Farr has a long track record of defending unconstitutional voter suppression laws and racist gerrymandering and cannot preside impartially over cases involving civil and voting rights. Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.

Action and script via 5calls.org 


Action 3: Override Veto of Gun Dealer Licensing

The General Assembly recently returned to Springfield and are facing an important decision on licensing gun dealers. This week, the Illinois State Senate has to take action if they are going to override Governor Rauner’s veto of SB 1657.

Senate Bill 1657, Gun Dealer Licensing, would require employees of gun shops to undergo background checks, allow law enforcement to inspect gun shops, and require video security for gun shops to prevent theft. This bill would stem the flow of illegal guns in our state. Illinois NEEDS statewide gun dealer licensing. The General Assembly passed this bill, only to see Rauner bow to NRA pressure and veto it.

General Assembly rules require an override to take place within 15 days of the veto message being received. That deadline is April 25 for the Senate!

We need your help to override the veto TODAY!  Please contact your State Senator in Springfield and ask them to VOTE YES on the motion to override SB 1657!

Find your state Senator.

Script: Hi, my name is _____ and my zip code is _____.  I'm calling to urge Representative ______ to vote YES on the motion to override the veto of SB1657. It’s important that Representative ____ stand up to the NRA and enact this bill to help reduce gun crime in Illinois. Illinois needs statewide gun dealer licensing. Thank you.

Action via the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.

Daily Actions Editor