As a number of people have written and stated, the events of the past week have brought out demons in our society that many of us thought had been put to rest. That's why the Council passed a resolution reaffirming this County’s tradition of respect for all residents. We stand united in saying we are a diverse community that believes in the dignity and importance of all our members. We reject discrimination and disenfranchisement in all its forms, and we condemn hate speech, hate crimes and harassment. See the news conference.
Here's the full text of the resolution:
SUBJECT: Reaffirming Community Safety and Trust and Denouncing Anti-Immigrant Activity, Racial Bias and Discrimination, Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Hate Speech, Hate Crimes, and Harassment in Montgomery County
1. Montgomery County’s strength is its diversity. People from every corner of the globe come to our County seeking peace, stability, and a better quality of life for their families, and their contributions greatly enrich our community.
2. Montgomery County has the largest population of foreign born residents in the State of Maryland with nearly one-third of our residents coming from other countries.
3. More than 70 percent of students in Montgomery County Public Schools are Hispanic/Latino, African American, Asian American, or multi-racial.
4. The County Council affirms the dignity of all County residents and recognizes the importance of their contributions to social, religious, cultural, and economic life.
5. County officials and employees and our entire community have worked diligently to build trust among people of all races, ethnicities, and religions. These efforts make our County a thriving, welcoming community.
6. Montgomery County has a long history of protecting all individual freedoms, and we will continue to protect and defend our people and our progress.
7. All our residents should be free to go about their daily life without fear of hate speech, hate crimes, harassment, or deportation.
8. The Council strongly opposes any federal action that may undermine the trust created in our community and threaten public safety.
9. The Council is committed to ensuring that activity at the federal level will not impact our democratic values or the progress made in our community to protect individual freedoms. Federal authorities must proceed with great caution and respect for the values of our County and the requirements of the Constitution.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following resolution:
Montgomery County will continue to be a citadel of justice and provide unlimited opportunities for people from all walks of life. The County will continue to be an inclusive and pluralistic community where all people are treated with respect.
Montgomery County believes that no deportations should take place without ensuring that the person to be deported received adequate representation and due process of law under the Constitution. The Montgomery County Police Department will play no role in enforcing federal immigration law. County residents should never be afraid to seek help from our public safety officers.
The Council rejects bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia in any form.
The Council denounces hate speech, hate crimes, and harassment and condemns the recent hate crimes that have occurred in our County.
The Council calls on the County’s MC311 system to provide operators and staff with special instructions to assist anyone on how to report and deal with hate crimes and harassment, including information about legal resources and support services. When appropriate, MC311 operators should also transfer calls to the Montgomery County Police Department’s non-emergency number and provide information about the Office of Human Rights.
This is a correct copy of Council action.
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk of the Council