Wednesday, May 16 - Farm Bill / Block Drone Surveillance of Protesters / Pack the Room for CPAC

Actions You Can Take Today


Action 1: Tell Reps to Vote No on a Farm Bill that Cuts Food Benefits

The Farm Bill is a $100 billion piece of legislation that must be reauthorized every five years, and covers everything from farm subsidies and agricultural programs to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps).

No surprise, Republicans passed a partisan bill out of committee that takes away food assistance from people and instead funds unproven, unscalable job training programs that will leave people hungry. The full House will vote on the Farm Bill (HR 2) THIS WEEK.

Tell your Representative to vote no on the bill as written and demand that all funding to SNAP be restored.

 Find your Representative

Script: Hi, my name is {NAME} and I'm a constituent in the {ZIP CODE} and member of Indivisible.  I’m calling to ask [MoC] to vote no on the Farm Bill (HR 2) because of the changes the GOP has made to SNAP funding. The Farm Bill should not result in more citizens going hungry. Please pledge to vote no on this bill until the SNAP funds are restored. Thank you.

Action via Indivisible.


Action 2: Block Drone Surveillance of Protesters

In a time when thousands of people are demonstrating to resist Trump Administration policies, the City of Chicago is championing legislation in Springfield allowing police to use drones to monitor these protests. The legislation – Senate Bill 2562 and House Bill 4405 – effectively guts groundbreaking legislation passed and signed into law just three years ago requiring a judicial warrant for the use of drones by police in Illinois.

“Given Chicago’s history of surveillance against protesters and social justice advocates – including by the notorious Red Squad –the Chicago police should not be able to use this new, powerful tool to monitor protesters near silently and from above,” said Karen Sheley, Director of the ACLU Police Practices Project. “The legislation also ignores sweeping surveillance tools currently available to the police – including an integrated public camera system that covers much of the City.”

Senate Bill 2562 (sponsored by Senator Martin Sandoval) and House Bill 4405 (sponsored by John D’Amico) both have cleared Committee and stand poised on the floor for a vote in both chambers. Both bills allow drones to be used to make video, audio and still recordings of crowds, and worse, to be equipped with facial recognition technology.

“If this bill is passed, as drafted, during the next large scale political rally, drones could identify and list people protesting the Trump administration,” added Sheley.  “The sight of drones overhead, collecting information, may deter people from protesting in a time when so many want to exercise their First Amendment rights.”

“This is too much unchecked power to give to the police – in Chicago or anywhere.”

Fill out a witness slip in opposition of SB 2562 before 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 16!

How to fill out a witness slip:

  1. Name, Address, City, State, Zip: Complete (no dots or abbreviations)

  2. Firm/Business: "none" or "self."

  3. Title: "self"

  4. Email and phone: Complete these lines

  5. Representation: "self"

  6. Position: Select "OPPONENT" to oppose

  7. Testimony: Check "RECORD of APPEARANCE"

  8. Create your slip

Action description via ACLU of Illinois


Action 3: Pack the Room for CPAC on Saturday

In the coming weeks, a series of public hearings will be convened by the Safety Committee of the Chicago City Council to discuss various police accountability ordinances by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CPAC), Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability (GAPA) and Ald. Reboyras, Chair of the Public Safety Committee.

CPAC calls for community control over the police through a democratically elected body so that people will have the decisive voice in who polices their communities and how their communities are policed.

Even though CPAC has more than 50,000 individual supporters in every Chicago ward (with an average of 1,000 supporters in 25 Wards), the policy is not yet reality. Now is a crucial moment for allies to show up and stand up for CPAC in upcoming public hearings. We need as many people as possible to lend their voice to demand #CPACNOW.

 Attend an upcoming hearing:

Action via the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CPAC)

Daily Actions Editor