Mayor to veto resolution
Council supports district voting rights
From the 10-27-2005 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune

Sparks Tribune

The Sparks City Council voted 3-2 on Monday in support of a resolution endorsing Congressional voting rights for Washington, D.C.

After the vote, Sparks Mayor Geno Martini said he would veto the resolution.

On Wednesday, Martini submitted his veto request in writing to the City Clerk. The issue will appear on the next city council agenda to give council the opportunity to override the veto.

The veto can be overturned with a 4/5 majority. One council member, either Judy Moss or Mike Carrigan, would need to reverse their vote in order for the override to pass.

In his letter, Martini said the city should not interfere with national issues.

"It would appear the council has addressed national issues without properly consulting our federal elected officials," he said.

"This has the potential of negatively affecting the relationships with our federal legislators at a time when the city is relying heavily on their power and influence."

Martini also said the city should not have voted on the resolution to oppose part of the Patriot Act, which passed with a 3-0 vote.

City Councilman Ron Schmitt said the voting rights issue was different from the Patriot Act issue.

Voting against the Patriot Act meant the city council was actually in opposition to the majority in Congress. There is, however, Congressional support for voting rights for Washington, D.C.

"This would actually be supporting our House of Representatives," Schmitt said.

The National League of Cities provided the City of Sparks with a resolution urging Congress to give residents of Washington, D.C. voting representation in the House of Representatives. The League is chaired by Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams.

Since 1970, Washington, D.C. has had one, non-voting representative in Congress who is elected by the city's residents.

There are four U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam, which also have non-voting delegates in the House.

There are currently two bills before Congress that would begin the process for a Constitutional amendment needed to give the district voting privileges.

One bill would give the district's current Congressional representative voting rights and add an additional representative from Utah.

Utah narrowly missed getting another member in the 2000 census, which did not count the thousands of Mormon missionaries from that state. As Utah is traditionally Republican and Washington, D.C. is traditionally Democratic, such an arrangement would not change the balance of Congress.

A different resolution would provide add two Senators from the district and give the House member voting rights, essentially giving the district the same representation as a state.

Councilwoman Judy Moss said the district should not be considered equal to a state.

"It may be more than a city, but it is not a state," she said.

Text and logos copyright © 2005 Sparks Tribune LLC, used with permission.

Back to the 10-30-2005 Barbwire

The 2 Resolutions


Draft Resolution



Relating to the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56), the Bill of Rights, the Constitution of the State of Nevada and the civil liberties, peace, and security of the citizens of our country and the world.


WHEREAS the (County / City) of _________ recognizes the Constitution of the United States as the governing law of
the land and the Bill of Rights as guaranteeing inalienable rights of Americans, including the freedoms of religion, speech, the press, assembly, privacy, and petitioning the Government for redress of grievances; and

WHEREAS each of _______ (County's / City's) duly elected public servants has sworn to defend and uphold the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Nevada; and

WHEREAS the (County / City) of ________ denounces and condemns all acts of terrorism, wherever occurring; and

WHEREAS any new security measures resulting from the attacks against the United States that occurred on September 11, 2001 should be carefully designed and employed by federal, state, and local governments to enhance public safety without infringing on the civil liberties and rights of innocent citizens of the (County / City) of ________, the nation, or the world; and

WHEREAS certain provisions of the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001", also known as the USA PATRIOT Act, as well as several executive orders, allow the federal government to conduct surveillance on and detain citizens and foreign nationals without adequate constitutional safeguards; and

WHEREAS further provisions contained in the draft legislation entitled the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003", also known as Patriot Act II, and the draft legislation entitled the "Vital Interdiction of Criminal Terrorist Organizations Act of 2003", also known as the VICTORY Act, contain a multitude of new and sweeping extra-constitutional law enforcement and intelligence gathering powers.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the (County / City) of _______ affirms its strong opposition to terrorism, but also affirms that any efforts to end terrorism not be waged at the expense of the fundamental civil liberties, rights, and freedoms of the people of the (County / City) of __________, the United States, or the world; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that it is the policy of the (County / City) of ________ to oppose any portion of the USA PATRIOT Act that would violate the rights and liberties guaranteed equally under the state and federal constitutions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, in accordance with Nevada state, county, or city policy, an agency or instrumentality of the (County / City) of ________ may not without probable cause:

   (1) initiate, participate in, assist or cooperate with any inquiry, investigation, surveillance, or detention;
   (2) record, file, or share intelligence information concerning a person or organization, including library lending and research records, book and video store sales and rental records, medical records, financial records, student records, and other personal data, even if authorized under the USA PATRIOT Act;
   (3) retain such intelligence information; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that an agency or instrumentality of the (County / City) may not:

   (1) use state, county, or city resources or institutions for the enforcement of federal immigration matters, which are the responsibility of the federal government;
   (2) collect or maintain information about the political, religious, or social views, associations, or activities of any individual, group, association, organization, corporation, business, or partnership, unless the information directly relates to an investigation of criminal activities based on probable cause, not mere suspicion of criminal conduct;
   (3) engage in racial, religious, or ethnic profiling nor use national origin or any other identifiable characteristic(s) as factors in selecting individuals or groups to target for investigation except when race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin is part of the description of a specific suspect; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the (County / City) of ______ implores the United States Congress to repeal any provision of the USA PATRIOT Act or other measures that infringe on civil liberties, and opposes any pending and future legislation that similarly infringe on civil rights and liberties.

COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable George W. Bush, President of the United States; the Honorable John Ashcroft, Attorney General of the United States; the Honorable Kenny Guinn, Governor of Nevada; Majority Floor Leader of the Nevada State Senate, William Raggio; Speaker of the Nevada State Assembly, Richard Perkins; and to the Honorable Harry Reid and the Honorable John Ensign, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Jim Gibbons, Honorable Shelley Berkley, and the Honorable Jon Porter, U.S. Representatives, members of the Nevada delegation in Congress.

IN (COMMISSION / COUNCIL) OF, ____________ (COUNTY / CITY), NEVADA, ________, 2005

Rev. 3.2.4




WHEREAS, the District of Columbia has nearly 400,000 registered voters and has one elected delegate in the United States House of Representatives who does not have a vote;

WHEREAS, the District of Columbia has more that 575,000 residents who pay some of the highest federal taxes per capita in the nation and yet do not enjoy the benefits of those taxes afforded to other cities;

WHEREAS, the citizens of the District of Columbia carry the same responsibilities of citizenship as other Americans, yet lack full representation in the United States Congress;

WHEREAS, the District of Columbia does not have budget and legislative autonomy for self-governance because of Congressional mandate;

WHEREAS, the District of Columbia is the permanent seat of government for the United States, and voting rights in our capital is a national concern; and

WHEREAS, citizens of the District of Columbia have fought in every war since the War for Independence serving the United States valiantly and heroically, but do not have the benefit of having their voices heard through their elected Congressional representative;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the (city/town of ____________) recognizes and fully supports the rights of the District of Columbia’s elected representative to have full voting rights in the United States House of Representatives.

A message from Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony A. Williams

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Copyright © 2005 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 37-year Nevadan and editor of Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.

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