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OCTOBER 15, 2004


Do you give to the Combined Federal Campaign? If so, you may be interested to know that BEFORE the charity of your choice may accept your donation, the Administration requires the charity to certify that it does not employ people whose names appear on three terrorist watch lists put out by the government.

The Council of HUD Locals has historically supported the CFC. But this year, we are troubled by the Administration’s policy and its impact on innocent employees at thousands of charities.

Names are placed on the list on the basis of suspicion alone. Packed into more than 143 pages, the lists include names of individuals and groups, and some listings also include dates of birth, associations, birthplaces and aliases. Common Arab, Asian and Hispanic names populate the lists. If an individual has a common name, to figure out if s/he is the same person whose name appears on the list, the charity may have to ask potentially intrusive questions about his/her personal life and beliefs; some of these questions may be prohibited by federal and state law.

Employees of the 2000 charities that receive money from CFC may be fired without any protection, formal charges or due process. Regular law-abiding citizens, and even more known people such as Senator Edward Kennedy from Massachusetts, have accidentally appeared on the list. Unless one has connections (Senator Kennedy had Homeland Security Secretary Ridge’s personal phone number) to get off the list, one must appeal to the Office of Foreign Assets Control, but no formal procedures or protections exist.

The policies implemented by the Administration violate the rights of the employees who work for charities that receive money from CFC. As Union members, we cannot support the blanket firing of employees without due process, nor can we support the asking of prohibitive and intrusive questions by employers being forced to act as surrogates for law enforcement.

Therefore, if you do choose to donate to the charity of your choice, we suggest directly giving it to the charity until these policies end. One benefit is that 100% of your contribution will go to the charity. CFC only delivers 88%.

But please be sure to give! Your charity deserves your support—even if the CFC does not.

For additional information:
     -The Chronicle of Philanthropy (issue dated August 19, 2004)

     -ACLU, Keep America Safe and Free Campaign,

     -The Non-Profit Quarterly,

e:mail comments/suggestions to: AFGE Council 222/ADMIN/RIC/HUD