(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/4/2009) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today announced that its advocates recently completed more than 80 meetings with elected officials and their staffers on Capitol Hill.
On Monday and Tuesday, CAIR representatives from across the country discussed efforts to end racial profiling, concerns over the humanitarian situation in Gaza and fighting domestic hunger.
ENDING RACIAL PROFILING
The White House’s civil rights agenda says the Obama administration will “ban racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies.” A 2003 Department of Justice advisory report calls the practice “merely wrong” and “ineffective.” Advocates supported a ban of the practice.
HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN GAZA
Advocates thanked the offices of the sixty-three Members of Congress, led by Rep. Olver (D-MA), who recently wrote Secretary of State Clinton asking that “the State Department release emergency funds to [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] for reconstruction and humanitarian assistance.” Last week, President Obama released 21.3 million in funds to start addressing this urgent need.
Click here to read the Olver letter.
FIGHTING DOMESTIC HUNGER
Hunger has grown in America while food aid programs have become increasingly strained. CAIR staff, board members and volunteers encouraged elected officials to support the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) and legislation that enhances school lunch and school feeding programs.
“Once again we heard that many congressional offices rarely hear from their Muslim constituents,” said CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor. “CAIR provides training so that community members across the country can learn how to effectively engage their representatives in government.”
Saylor noted that CAIR has published a Civic Participation Handbook designed to provide best practices and step-by-step guides for everything from holding voter registration drives to making the most of a meeting with elected officials.