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Sheffield Democratic Committee endorses bills protecting citizens from Trump agenda

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By Sunday, Jun 4, 2017 We the People 4

Sheffield — The Sheffield Democratic Committee, like some other Democratic committees in the Berkshires and elsewhere, has sprung to life since the election of Donald Trump and now boasts about 50 members. The Committee recently decided to take a stand on state legislation that protects the civil rights of Massachusetts residents as part of its “Fortress Massachusetts” initiative. The first two bills that the Committee is supporting are the Safe Communities Act, which would protect undocumented immigrants from deportation, and an anti-gay conversion therapy measure.

Sheffield Dems

Safe Communities Act

The Safe Communities Act, which has 81 cosponsors in the House, including State Rep. William Smitty Pignatelli, and 53 Senate co-sponsors, including Sen. Adam Hinds, would prohibit the use of public funds and resources for immigration enforcement purposes. The bill also stipulates that no state law enforcement agency can inquire about a person’s immigration status unless that person is the subject of a criminal investigation. In addition, no state law enforcement officer can arrest or detain a person or keep that person in custody solely on the basis of an immigration detainer request. And State Police also won’t provide federal agents with access to booking lists or other information related to a person’s imprisonment unless that person is serving a sentence for a violent felony.

The Safe Communities Act is scheduled for a hearing on Beacon Hill Friday, June 9 at a joint meeting of the House and Senate Public Safety and Homeland Security committees.

Similar “sanctuary state” measures have passed the Democratic-controlled New York Assembly and the California Senate. In Massachusetts, Great Barrington recently adopted a petition with language like that of the Safe Communities Act at its recent town meeting. Boston, Amherst, Cambridge, Northampton, and Somerville are other sanctuary cities in Massachusetts.

Ban gay conversion therapy

The Committee also backs state legislation that would prohibit gay conversion therapy. Eight other states and the District of Columbia have passed similar laws.

The “Bill to Ban Conversion Therapy” has been introduced in both the state House and the state Senate, and a hearing on this bill will be held on Tuesday, June 6. The measure is designed to “ban deceptive conversion practices that can lead to depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, and suicidality,” according to a flyer from bill proponents. Specifically, the bill would:

  • Prohibit any licensed mental health professional from forcing minors to change sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Require state mandatory reporters to report cases of suspected instances of the use of conversion therapy with a minor
  • Define advertisements promoting conversion therapy as deceptive practices violating consumer protections.

Sheffield Fortress MassachusettsSimilar laws have been passed in California, Connecticut, Oregon, Nevada, New Jersey, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia.

The Sheffield Democratic Committee seeks to elect Democratic candidates, especially in Republican districts. Moreover, the Committee has joined with a network of like-minded groups in South County to oppose Trump’s agenda. The committee welcomes new members who are Democrats registered in Sheffield.

For more information, please contact Ben Hillman at ben@benhillman.com.

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4 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Patrick Fennell says:

    Locally Berkshire County is a mess there are a lot of bridges either closed or one lane, the school districts are a mess, the population declining, roads in need of work, police departments that seem to have two sets of laws, and the Sheffield democrats find time to crucify Trump. Meanwhile no one complains about the 34th worst member of the US congress Richie Neal.

  2. John says:

    Hey Fortress, what is your plan on ISiS? How many attacks in Europe in the past few weeks? How many dead?
    I believe US presidential election is over. The senate election is over. The house election is over.
    The time to move on, has long now past.

    It is time to set priorities and work together

    1. Ken Terry says:

      The Republicans in Congress don’t want to work with Democrats. They just want to push through their terrible ideas, like severing 23 million people from health insurance and huge tax cuts for the wealthiest. And any plan on ISIS that depends partly on keeping out people who come from certain Muslim countries is another terrible idea. We need the support of our own Muslim community to squelch extremism and help law enforcement root out jihadists.

      1. Patrick Fennell says:

        Ken you have to stop reading the NY Times and watching the Clinton News Network. Obamacare was voted without a single republican vote, Obama didn’t even try to work with the republicans. Right now the republicans congress are wimps, they are the majority and should pass laws, fix Obamacare, change and make the tax laws more citizen friendly and crush ISIS.

        Meanwhile you can’t drive through Sheffield without running into a bridge in need of repair, the school budget is too high and the schools ignore vocational programs,

        MA has a state budget that is 1/3rd the size of CA, (MA has 1/7th the population is one of the smallest states with far fewer roads and schools) we have more state employees than PA (PA is also a bigger state and has a population of @ 13 million compared to 6 million) and one of the few states that waste money on Police Road Details, and these problems have gone on for decades. Trump has been in office for less than six months.

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