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Loren Siegel Consulting;
Presents arguments and tools for integrating public opinion research into communications work. Includes case studies, research methods, consultant information, and a guide to help grantmakers evaluate grant proposals to conduct public opinion research.
League of Women Voters;
The informed and active involvement of citizens in government at all levels has long been a goal of the League of Women Voters. The League has also been highly attentive to issues of civil rights and civil liberties throughout its history. As a result, the League of Women Voters Education Fund, the citizen education and research arm of the League, initiated a multi-faceted approach to enhancing both public and policymaker understanding of the issues involved in the complex interaction of civil liberties and homeland security.
In 2005, with generous funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Education Fund launched a project entitled Local Voices: Citizen Conversations on Civil Liberties and Secure Communities. The project has three main components.
One component involved facilitating ten public deliberations in communities across the country in June 2005. The League asked the Study Circles Resource Center (SCRC), a national organization that works to advance deliberative democracy, to be a partner in this project. In collaboration with the League, SCRC developed a discussion guide, provided advice to local Leagues as they prepared for the public deliberations, and trained local discussion facilitators at the ten sites. The hosts were the Leagues in: Baltimore, Maryland; Black Hawk-Bremer counties, Iowa; Brookhaven, New York; Columbia, Missouri; Dallas, Texas; Lexington, Kentucky; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; North Pinellas County, Florida; and Seattle, Washington. Each site hosted between 50 and 100 community members for four to six hours of conversation. Insights from these forums were collected in two forms: observations recorded by trained note takers in break-out discussions (approximately six to ten participants in each) at every site and a post-deliberation individual participant survey. Questionnaires, developed by Lake Snell Perry Mermin/Decision Research (LSPM/DR), were completed by more than 650 participants. The results areiincluded in the report. (See Appendix A for more information.)
The other two components of the project involved qualitative and quantitative public opinion research to explore attitudes and values toward homeland security and civil liberties. The League hired LSPM/DR to conduct six focus groups in three cities: Bakersfield, California; Dallas, Texas; and Richmond, Virginia. In addition, LSPM/DR conducted an analysis of national polling data that provide reflections of Americans' opinions toward homeland security and civil liberties.
The findings from all components of the Local Voices project are chronicled in this report. Neither this report nor the ultimate Congressional action on the USA PATRIOT Act by any means signals the end of the issue or the need for conversation on this important topic.
The issues -- and the decisions -- involved in the intersection between civil liberties and homeland security will continue to evolve and manifest themselves in various ways. The consequences of the decisions this country makes will have lasting effects on every American, in their lives and communities, and on the nation as a whole.
This report presents a number of findings and insights gleaned from the range of public input obtained during the Local Voices project. These findings are identified and then described at length in the following pages. Some are focused on specific topics within the current debate, and some are more general and far-ranging.
At the conclusion of this report, the League presents a series of recommendations. These relate to the ways government at all levels, as well as community institutions, the media, and the public itself, can work to strengthen public understanding, public involvement and public confidence in the conversations, decisions and trade-offs that have been and will continue to be made about homeland security and civil liberties.
Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research;
In the aftermath of recent high-profile attacks on Western targets by Islamic extremists, fear of terrorism has grown while the public remains divided on whether the struggle against terrorism is worth the loss of some rights. In the latest Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, 54 percent of Americans say it can be necessary for the government to sacrifice freedoms to fight terrorism; 45 percent disagree. About half of Americans think it is acceptable to allow warrantless government analysis of internet activities and communications—even of American citizens—in order to keep an eye out for suspicious activity. About 3 in 10 are against this type of government investigation. Following the attacks in Paris and California, the level of concern about being personally affected by terrorism is relatively high compared to prior polls. Twenty percent of Americans have a great deal of concern that they or a family member could be a victim of a terrorist attack, up from 10 percent in an AP-NORC telephone poll taken in 2013. The public is just as uneasy about attacks by Islamic extremists as they are about home-grown terrorism. In recent months, there have been calls by some politicians to monitor mosques and bar Syrians and other Muslims from entering the United States. While a large majority of Americans agree that freedom of religion is important, some people do differentiate among groups. Eight in 10 say it is important that Christians freely practice their religion; about 6 in 10 say the same about Muslims. The nationwide poll was conducted December 10-13, 2015, using the AmeriSpeak Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,042 adults.
Carnegie Corporation of New York;
Explores issues such as surveillance of people and the means they can use to create havoc; potential infringements on privacy; democracies' responses to terrorism; and the need to maintain a balance between security and American civil rights.
Social IMPACT Research Center;
This report, Human Rights in the Heartland, measures human rights progress in the heart of the United States. In this compilation, eight Midwestern states are evaluated on a freedom index, providing a comparative snapshot of local commitments to civil, political, social, and economic rights.
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation;
Highlights MacArthur's support for the international justice system, development of new norms, international human rights organizations, and groups in Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia. Lists grantees and describes the MacArthur Award for International Justice.
From 2004 to 2014, Atlantic focused resources on protecting and expanding the rights of immigrants, people with disabilities and LGBT people in the Republic of Ireland. The work of these human rights grantees enabled several important and lasting achievements, including:
New rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people
Improved police accountability
New rights for children
Better conditions for prisoners
Improved treatment of rape victims in the criminal justice system
The achievement of substantive equality is understood as having four dimensions: redressing disadvantage; countering stigma, prejudice, humiliation and violence; transforming social and institutional structures; and facilitating political participation and social inclusion. The paper shows that, although not articulated in this way, these dimensions are clearly visible in the application by the various interpretive bodies of the principles of equality to the enjoyment of treaty rights. At the same time, it shows that there are important ways in which these bodies could go further, both in articulating the goals of substantive equality and in applying them when assessing compliance by States with international obligations of equality. The substantive equality approach, in its four-dimensional form, provides an evaluative tool with which to assess policy in relation to the right to gender equality. The paper elaborates on the four-dimensional approach to equality and how it can be used to evaluate the impact of social and economic policies on women to determine how to make the economy 'work for women' and advance gender equality. The paper suggests that there is a growing consensus at the international level on an understanding of substantive equality that reflects the four dimensional framework. This paper was produced for UN Women's flagship report "Progress of the World's Women 2015-2016" and is released as part of the UN Women discussion paper series.
Freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly, and the right to participate in public affairs, are human rights that enable people to share ideas, form new ones, and join together with others to claim their rights. It is through the exercise of these public freedoms that we make informed decisions about our economic and social development.
It is through these rights that we can take part in civic activity and build democratic societies. To restrict them undermines our collective progress. This is the sixth in OHCHR's series of human rights practical guides for civil society, and should be seen within the context of 'Widening the democratic space', one of OHCHR's current thematic priorities.
This Guide highlights issues related to the work of civil society actors (CSAs). It begins with a working definition of the terms 'civil society' and 'civil society space'. It then provides an overview of the conditions and environment needed for a free and independent civil society, including relevant international human rights standards for freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly, and the right to participate in public affairs.
Outlines the problems facing Black Americans in employment, income, education, and political participation. Describes Ford's past efforts and new initiatives aimed at promoting racial justice, and improving this situation.
Southern Poverty Law Center;
The study examined 1,110 cases in 14 counties, representing 70% of the 1,591 civil asset forfeiture cases filed in Alabama in 2015. It found:
- Courts awarded $2.2 million to law enforcement agencies in 827 disposed cases.
- In a quarter of the cases filed, criminal charges were not brought against the person whose property was seized, resulting in the forfeiture of more than $670,000.
- The state won 84% of disposed cases against property owners not charged with crime.
- In 55% percent of cases where criminal charges were filed, the charges were related to marijuana. In 18% of cases where criminal charges were filed, the charge was simple possession of marijuana and/or paraphernalia.
- In 64% of cases where criminal charges were filed, the defendant was black (African Americans comprise 27 percent of state's population).
- In half of the cases, the amount of cash was $1,372 or less.
Places the issues that Asian American women face in the broader economic, legal, political, and historical contexts of American society and describes specifically how these women are affected when they are denied fundamental human rights.