Often it feels like the wheels of justice turn oh-so-slowly. Sometimes they even seem to roll backwards. But now, at least one wheel is turning relatively quickly. With another push or two from all of us in rural Oregon, we can help ensure just a little more justice for victims of hate crimes.
Shortly after ROP sent out a related action alert last week, the US House passed the Federal Hate Crimes Act. The law expands the coverage of existing hate crime laws to include not only victims of crime based on race, color, religion, and national origin, but also bias-motivated crimes based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. It also provides for federal involvement in prosecuting hate crimes in states where current law or local actions are inadequate. The bill, which President Obama supports, is now headed to the Senate.
Here in Oregon, a resolution drafted by Eugene-area activist and ROP friend, Alan Brown, and moved forward in the legislature with support from BRO (Basic Rights Oregon) has been introduced into the House Rules Committee. House Joint Memorial 22 (HJM22) condemns the March 21st hate crime in Seaside, OR against Samson Deal and Kevin Patterson and urges Congress to pass federal hate crimes legislation. Let’s make sure that HJM22 passes here in Oregon to send a strong message to the US Senate as they consider the Federal Hate Crimes Act.
Scroll down for more details on who to contact and links to some sample letters, courtesy of Alan.
May we keep those wheels a turning…
1. Thank Speaker of the House Dave Hunt for putting forward HJM 22 (sample letter).
Dave Hunt, Speaker of the House
D-Clackamas County -District 40
2. Thank Arnie Roblan, Chair of the House Rules Committee, for his past support and encourage him to give HMJ22 a hearing and a work session (sample letter).
Arnie Roblan, Chair of the House Rules Committee
D-Coos Bay-District 9
3. If your representative is on the Rules Committee (see list of committee members below), ask them to pass HJM22 to the floor (sample letter). If your rep isn’t on the committee, give them a call and ask them to encourage the Rules Committee to pass HJM22 to the floor.
Vicki Berger, Vice-Chair
REP : Salem-District 20
Chris Edwards, Vice-Chair
DEM: West Eugene, Santa Clara, Junction City, Cheshire & Alvadore-District 14
REP:Klamath Falls-District 56
DEM: Corvallis-District 16
REP: Pendleton- District 58
DEM: Portland-District 36
DEM: Beaverton-District 27