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Take Action to support Hate Crimes protections

The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, has scheduled a hearing entitled “Crimes Against America’s Homeless: Is the Violence Growing?” The hearing is set for Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.  The featured topic of the hearing will be the Hate Crimes Against the Homeless Statistics Act (S. 1765), legislation introduced by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) that would direct the Federal Bureau of Investigation to gather data on bias-motivated crimes against people experiencing homelessness.

This hearing advances NCH’s legislative agenda significantly and is an important step forward on the path to Bring America Home. After some research, we believe this hearing to be the first held by the United States Congress that specifically and exclusively addresses a homeless civil rights issue. NCH was given the privilege and responsibility of recommending witnesses for the hearing. Following the hearing, NCH staff will be escorting the witnesses to key members of House and Senate.

Here are REAL ways for you to make a difference in protecting the civil rights of people experiencing homelessness:

  1. Join the Letter of Support for S. 1765 – Make your local, state, or national organization part of the hearing record by joining an organization sign-on letter in support of the Hate Crimes Against the Homeless Statistics Act. A copy of the letter is attached. Please send your organization add request to info@nationalhomeless.org by close of business Monday, September 27.  (THANK YOU to organizations that have already added themselves to the sign-on letter). Please forward this invitation to sign the letter of support for S. 1765 to other organizations in your state and community.
  2. Urge Your Senators to Co-Sponsor Senate Bill 1765 – 11 Senators have already joined Senator Cardin as co-sponsors of the Hate Crimes Against the Homeless Statistics Act.  Those Senators are Brown (OH), Burris (IL), Casey (PA), Collins (ME), Feinstein (CA), Leahy (VT), Merkley (OR), Mikulski (MD), Schumer (NY), Specter (PA), and Whitehouse (RI).  Please contact your U.S. Senators THIS WEEK and urge them to join as co-sponsors of S. 1765 prior to the hearing, so that their support for people experiencing homelessness and the legislation may be entered in the hearing record. Find your Senator at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm or call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
  3. Forward the action alert to others - Click here to read the full action alert. Please forward to your friends, family and community and encourage them to take action!
  4. Follow NCH's live Twitter feed - NCH will be tweeting live from from the hearing! Click here to follow NCH on Twitter or search for the hashtag #homelesshc to follow the latest news about Hate Crimes.

National Coalition for the Homeless
2201 P Street NW
Washington, DC 20037-1033

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