VICTORY! Bill to Honor Oregon Hero Minoru Yasui Passes Oregon Legislature Unanimously
UPDATE: February 24, 2016 - A bill honoring the struggle and legacy of Oregonian Minoru “Min” Yasui, who fought against the internment of Japanese Americans, passed unanimously through both the Oregon Senate and House. The legislation designates March 28 of each year as Minoru Yasui Day. The governor is expected to sign the bill into law.
“With so much anti-immigrant rhetoric in the news, it’s refreshing that Oregon legislators came together across the aisle to support Minoru Yasui Day,” said Kimberly McCullough, ACLU of Oregon’s legislative director. “Min’s story is a reminder that we must remain vigilant to protect freedom for all people.”
1,393 supporters signed an ACLU of Oregon petition to create Minoru Yasui Day.
“Minoru Yasui has made all Oregonians and all Americans proud,” said Senate President Peter Courtney, D - Salem, after the unanimous vote today.
Electronic communication – through email, cell phones and social media – has increasingly eclipsed postal mail and other hard-copy methods as our primary means of communication. Unfortunately, some government agencies interpret our outdated privacy laws to allow them to intercept and access a treasure trove of information about who you are, where you go, and what you do – the information being collected by search engines, social networking sites, and other websites every day.
UPDATE: February 20, 2015 - The Portland City Council voted 3-2 to rejoin the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). The council will consider the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the FBI on February 25. We will call on Council to require changes to the MOU before it is approved.
Since 2005, when Portland ended its full participation in the JTTF, the Police Bureau has cooperated with the FBI only on a case-by-case basis. We strongly supported the City’s decision because of the FBI’s long history of targeting people in terrorism investigations based primarily on their political and/or religious beliefs.
April 16, 2013 - Lake Oswego City Council is set to vote on a proposal to join the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) this evening, without discussion. The ACLU is urging the Council to postpone the vote until more details on the agreement between local law enforcement and the FBI can be reviewed.
UPDATE: April 17, 2013 - The Lake Oswego City Council voted unanimously to join the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).
The efforts to improve communication and cooperation among law enforcement agencies, including between the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies, is important. As yesterday’s events in Boston have once again illustrated, such cooperation can be essential to protect public safety. However, the FBI and other federal agencies operate under very different laws and policies than state and local police agencies are required to follow here in Oregon.
Unfortunately, the FBI’s standard agreement for participation by local agencies in their Joint Terrorism Task Forces does not make any accommodation for those different standards and requirements. Indeed, that standard agreement makes it extremely likely that local police officers, once deputized as members of the FBI JTTF, will engage in activities that violate the important protections and safeguards of Oregon law and the Oregon Constitution.
March 27, 2013 - ACLU of Oregon Executive Director David Fidanque testified before Portland City Council urging them to reject the recently released Portland Police Bureau's (PPB) Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) Report. The report contains few details , "... not enough detail to truly inform the public of the nature of PPB’s participation on the JTTF – certainly not enough to compel anyone to point to Portland as a model of transparency," Fidanque said.
The City Council voted to accept the report in a 3-2 vote despite concerns by many of the commissioners over the lack of information contained in the report.
Final Portland Reports on JTTF Greatly Improved, But…
February 29, 2012 – Significantly modified reports on the City of Portland’s relationship with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) were approved by the City Council after the ACLU’s testified they were greatly improved, but still lacked data that would permit the public to independently confirm that Oregon law and the Constitution are being honored by the City.
In 2000, the ACLU of Oregon and our coalition partners began organizing to shed light on Portland’s involvement in the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force after Dan Handelman of Portland Copwatch noticed an item related to the JTTF on the City Council’s consent agenda.