A safe, welcoming community for all
To the editor:
As the results of the election came in, some people rejoiced and others felt disappointment. This is a normal part of democracy. However, many in Northfield and across our nation felt great anxiety and fear.
Northfielders filled St. Dominic Church Sunday in support of our neighbors whose future now may feel uncertain. In that meeting, we both heard and reinforced two messages: Discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated here; and all people, regardless of race, sex, gender identity, sexuality, religion or culture, are important to our community.
To this end, the City Council passed a resolution Tuesday to reaffirm, “Its commitment to the equal protection of and service to all residents and visitors, regardless of background or identity.” Through the leadership of our Human Rights Commission, we will be working with all parts of city government to improve areas where our community can be more equitable. With this resolution, we also affirm that the city of Northfield, including the Police Department, does not and will not use city resources for the purpose of enforcing federal immigration laws.
Since many of the concerns around the election involve families with children, we encourage residents to read the statement by Northfield’s Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Hillmann, which underlines the community’s determination to make all children in Northfield Schools safe and welcome: http://northfieldschools.org/nfldlead/2016/11/177/.
The diversity of our community enriches all of our lives. Taking the time to get to know people who are different from us, to walk a mile in their shoes or to feel their pain and anxiety will only serve to make us better. As current and incoming mayors, we urge our community to be compassionate to all, and pledge our own work to ensure safety, well-being and equal opportunity for Northfielders.
Finally, we need to be clear that there is particular concern and even fear in our Latino community. To them, we repeat that last sentence: Como el alcalde de ahora y la nueva alcaldesa que ganó las elecciones, pedimos a nuestra comunidad que sean compasivos con todos, y prometemos trabajar para garantizar la seguridad, el bienestar y la igualdad de oportunidades para todos los habitantes de Northfield.
Rhonda Pownell, Mayor-elect
Dana Graham, Mayor