ALA Anaheim 2012 Resolution #3 revision #1

Resolution on Voter Suppression in America
WHEREAS, voting is an essential citizenship right; and
WHEREAS, past attempts to restrict voting have included poll taxes and literacy tests; and
WHEREAS, the 2008 national elections were the most racially diverse in American history, helping to close the longstanding gap between whites and voters of color; and
WHEREAS, voter ID laws, restrictions on voter registration, purging of voter rolls, and cuts to early voting are the latest tactics used to suppress votes from historically disenfranchised groups, including people of color, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities; and
WHEREAS, up to 11% of Americans lack government-issued IDs, and up to 7% lack official documents proving their citizenship; and
WHEREAS, proponents of voter suppression laws have failed to show that voter fraud is a problem anywhere in the country, and that voter fraud is exceedingly rare; and
WHEREAS, voter suppression laws have been passed by 15 states, and are pending in 5 more states (and passed but revoked in Maine);
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association (ALA):
1. Opposes voter ID laws, restrictions on voter registration, cuts to early voting, and any other laws resulting in the restriction of lawful access to voting;
2. Encourages libraries and librarians to provide information to citizens to mitigate these restrictions should they remain in effect on Election Day.

Al Kagan, SRRT Councilor, 217-819-9975
Mary Biblo, Councilor at Large

ALA Anaheim – 2012 – Proposed Resolution #3

Resolution on Voter Suppression in America
WHEREAS, voting is an essential citizenship right; and
WHEREAS, past attempts to restrict voting have included poll taxes and literacy tests; and
WHEREAS, the 2008 national elections were the most racially diverse in American history, closing the longstanding gap between whites and voters of color; and
WHEREAS, voter ID laws, restrictions on voter registration, and cuts to early voting are the latest tactics for suppression of voting by historically disenfranchised groups, including people of color, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities; and
WHEREAS, up to 11% of Americans lack government-issued IDs, and up to 7% lack official documents proving their citizenship; and
WHEREAS, proponents of voter suppression laws have failed to show that voter fraud is a problem anywhere in the country, and that voter fraud is exceedingly rare; and
WHEREAS, voter suppression laws have been passed by 15 states, and are pending in 5 more states (and passed but revoked in Maine);
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association (ALA):
1. Opposes voter ID laws, restrictions on voter registration, cuts to early voting, and any other laws intended to restrict lawful access to voting;
2. Encourages libraries and librarians to provide information to citizens to mitigate these restrictions should they remain in effect on Election Day.
3. Disseminate this resolution to all state Governors, members of state legislatures, and ALA state chapters.

Al Kagan, SRRT Councilor, 217-819-9975
Mary Biblo, Councilor at Large

ALA Annual – Anaheim proposed Resolution #2

RESOLUTION ON ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND WIKILEAKS

WHEREAS, WikiLeaks is a non-profit organization that publishes submissions of secret documents from anonymous sources and news leaks; and
WHEREAS, WikiLeaks has made available thousands of important documents concerning United States foreign and military policy; and
WHEREAS, WikiLeaks is performing a vital watchdog role by expanding citizens’ knowledge on matters of vital public concern, following in the steps of the newspapers that published the Pentagon Papers, courageously supplied by Daniel Ellsberg; and
WHEREAS, Support for WikiLeaks should be a concern for all those who believe in the right to know and intellectual freedom, and most especially librarians; and
WHEREAS, WikiLeaks is under tremendous pressure from many governments, elected officials, and prominent personalities to stop publishing leaked documents; and
WHEREAS, The American Library Association has signed a joint letter with many other organizations asking the United States government to reverse its order to US government agencies blocking access to WikiLeaks, in support of publishers’ and citizens’ first amendment rights, and against the possible application of the Espionage Act against WikiLeaks; therefore be it
RESOLVED that the American Library Association
1. Supports the rights of WikiLeaks to publish leaked government documents;
2. Commends the efforts of WikiLeaks to expunge from documents names and other material deemed potentially harmful to innocent people;
3. Commends WikiLeaks for performing a public service by making available important documents related to foreign and military policy;
4. Recommends that libraries consider linking their websites to the WikiLeaks website where appropriate; and
5. Condemns any harassment of WikiLeaks.

Supporting document:

Policy Manual 53.1 Library Bill of Rights:
1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.