On June 6, RISE brought together neighbors to share their thoughts about the Safe Communities Act with Senator Mike Rush. Unfortunately due to a scheduling conflict the Senator could not attend. But RISE members shared testimony with the 180+ neighbors in attendance, as well as aides to Senator Rush and Rep. Liz Malia, and Representative Russell Holmes. Thank you to Rep. Holmes and the aides for attending!
Below watch Anthony Melvin make three requests of Senator Rush:
Because Senator Rush could not attend on June 6, about ten members of RISE met with him at his office on June 8. See photo above. Here are notes from that meeting:
1) Senator Russ will read one of the Children’s Immigration Stories at the Roslindale Farmers’ Market children’s story hour, the Roslindale Library or the Sumner School this Summer or Fall.
2) Senator Rush did commit to an evening meeting in Roslindale in the Fall knowing we will want to hear his opinion and what progress he has made on the Safe Communities Act.
3) Senator Rush is unlikely to co-sponsor the bill. He says he is very careful to only co-sponsor bills he has more expertise in and fully backs, such as those related to veterans affairs.
4) Senator Rush serves on the Joint Committee for Public Safety and Homeland Security which is considering whether to recommend the Safe Communities Act be debated in the House and Senate. Sen Rush will most likely support the Committee moving the bill forward to be debated on and voted on in the Senate and the House. (This only happens if the bill gets recommended out the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee this legislative session.) However, Sen. Rush has not yet heard from the Chair or Vice Chair of the Committee that this bill is a priority to get out of Committee in this legislative session. When asked, Sen. Rush was vague about whether he would initiate contact with the Chair of the Committee.
5) In concept, Senator Rush agrees with most of what’s in the Safe Communities Act. He does not want to see local and state police be put in the position of being ICE agents, nor does he want to undermine community policing relationships. However, he needs more details on whether or not the bill will limit information gathering and cooperation among local, state and national law enforcement agencies. He is concerned about Homeland Security matters and going after “really bad guys” and “terrorists.” Our understanding is that the bill does not interfere in criminal investigations nor national security investigations, but we will do more research on this point.