When we began this journey I was a bit torn. Although I have been aware in the last year of the rising animosity toward Muslims, I knew that they were not the only targeted segment of our population to endure struggles in the present national climate. I wondered – why the Muslims only? Why now? How do participants in the mosque feel about such a resolution? And how does our community feel about it?
I have come to believe strongly in moving forward. Having attended a social evening at the mosque, I was able to visit with the women who are the most visible targets of intimidation in their daily lives. I listened to their stories, their laughter, the welcoming nature, and wanted to proffer that same welcome to them.
As a committee we also investigated other cities and communities much larger than ours that felt that they should take a stand and have considered a statement of support to be necessary. Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA, and Philadelphia, PA are a few examples.I have been a part of the time, thought, research, and study that have gone into the resolution we propose. I was there (both at home and in meetings) for the hours spent choosing and perfecting the exact words that would be inclusive but not exclusive in our support for a group under attack.
I fully comprehend the necessity and the timeliness of this resolution at this moment in the history of our town. I am heartened by the interest and communications we have received from our citizens. An overwhelming amount have been in support of our project.
A resolution to affirm the inclusive and welcoming nature of the City of Talent
WHEREAS, our nation and our Talent community thrive when we live up to the constitutionally protected values of freedom of religion, liberty, and justice for all, while welcoming diversity and inclusion, and still maintaining separation of church and state; and
WHEREAS, these values are threatened by increasing rhetoric of fear and hate targeting particular groups, including historically marginalized religious groups, immigrants, and people of color, and have resulted in increased acts of hate and violence against Muslim women, children, and men across the nation and here in the Rogue Valley; and
WHEREAS, there is an established place of worship for Muslims in the City of Talent; and
WHEREAS, our Muslim neighbors, both native born and immigrant, are an important part of American diversity and of our local community; and
WHEREAS, the City of Talent strives to be a place where individuals, regardless of gender, ethnicity, place of origin, religion, or sexual orientation, are treated with respect and dignity, and are recognized for their contributions to building a strong and vibrant community; and
WHEREAS, we, as elected representatives of the people, have a special responsibility not to stay silent in the face of hate, discrimination, and violence against any of our constituents;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Talent will not tolerate discrimination, hate speech, or violent acts committed against any individual, religion, or community, including but not limited to those who are Muslim, immigrants, or people of color; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of Talent reaffirms its commitment to protect all places of worship, homes, businesses, schools, and community centers; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we encourage Talent residents to celebrate diversity and unity; support the principles of fairness, dignity, and acceptance; promote peaceful discourse; and join in efforts to ensure the safety of everyone in our community.
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In this horrendous week in our national history I hope you stand up. We can’t all be activists or involved in politics. We don’t all have the time and/or money to spare for committees or donations. But we can each spare the thought and caring to be a visible force in keeping our country “a place where individuals, regardless of gender, ethnicity, place of origin, religion, or sexual orientation, are treated with respect and dignity, and are recognized for their contributions to building a strong and vibrant community“.