Speaking Up

Last Imbolc, February 2nd, I headed over that morning to the local Human Rights Committee open meeting. The police chief and mayor were there and my pastor was the guest presenter, which pleasantly surprised me. He eloquently spoke about the First Parish Church’s plan to hang a “Black Lives Matter” banner and the reasoning behind doing so. From there, a robust discussion ensued, coming around to the topic of possibly declaring our city a sanctuary city, like the neighboring city’s council was about to vote on doing. Nervously, I chimed in about the importance of adhering to our values as a city at the risk of losing federal funding due to the likelihood of such dollars drying up anyway because of 1) strings to such funding surely getting much tighter under the Trump administration and 2) said administration wishing to divert most funds and funnel them into certain institutions, such as ICE and other federal police agencies. Some people nodded their heads in agreement. The mayor spoke up rather defensively to me, since we were talking about funding for the city after all, and the Committee Chair herself came to my support to clarify where I was coming from (i.e., that I was not implying that city taxes should automatically be increased). I sensed I’d be talking more to the mayor and police chief in the future, where and when I can to advocate for the causes that are near and dear to me, including this need to have our city truly be a sanctuary for refugees and immigrants. Fascinating and invigorating. I was already learning a lot and looked forward to learning more. Onward with the resistance!

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