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Montgomery Council and County Executive reaffirm community safety and address harassment

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Montgomery County Council,

County Executive reaffirm community

safety and trust, address harassment

With unanimously approved resolution and at news conference,

elected officials reaffirm County values

 

ROCKVILLE, Md., November 15, 2016—The Montgomery County Council and County Executive Ike Leggett today addressed community concerns about safety and possible discrimination, harassment and hate crimes. With a resolution unanimously adopted by the Council, and in a news conference that followed, the Council reaffirmed the County’s tradition of respect for all residents.

The meeting and the news conference were televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM). The channel can be viewed on Cable Channels 996 (high definition) and 6 (standard definition) on Comcast; Channels 1056 (HD) and 6 (SD) on RCN; and Channel 30 on Verizon. Starting on Wednesday, Nov. 16, the resolution adoption and the news conference will be available to be viewed on demand from the Council web site at http://tinyurl.com/zyjnbyz .

 

The subject of the resolution is: “Reaffirming community safety and trust and denouncing anti-immigrant activity, hate speech, hate crimes and harassment in Montgomery County.”

 

County Council President Nancy Floreen said it is important for the County’s elected officials to reaffirm County values.

 

“We are standing united to say we are a diverse community that believes in the dignity and importance of all of our residents,” said Council President Floreen.

 

The resolution points out that Montgomery County has the largest population of foreign born residents in Maryland (nearly one-third) and that more than 70 percent of students in Montgomery County Public Schools are Hispanic/Latino, African American, Asian American or multi-racial.

 

The resolution states: “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.”

 

The full text of the resolution follows:

 

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

 

Background

 

  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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. More than 70 percent of students in Montgomery County Public Schools are Hispanic/Latino, African American, Asian American, or multi-racial.

 

  1. The County Council affirms the dignity of all County residents and recognizes the importance of their contributions to social, religious, cultural, and economic life.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. Montgomery County has a long history of protecting all individual freedoms, and we will continue to protect and defend our people and our progress.
  2. All our residents should be free to go about their daily life without fear of hate speech, hate crimes, harassment, or deportation.

 

  1. The Council strongly opposes any federal action that may undermine the trust created in our community and threaten public safety.  

 

  1. 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.

 

 

 

Action

 

            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, 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

Release ID: 16-361
Media Contact: Neil Greenberger 240-777-7939