MAHOPAC, N.Y. - The Town Board unanimously passed a resolution last week condemning all forms of racism throughout the town Carmel.

The resolution, which comes in the wake of a march and rally held last month in Chamber Park by a group known as Mahopac for Racial Justice, was read and approved at the board’s June 25 meeting.

Supervisor Ken Schmitt, who attended the rally in the park, along with councilmen Frank Lombardi and Robert Shanill, said the board wanted to let the community know it stood strong on the issue.

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“The board felt it was extremely important and appropriate that we make this statement,” he said. “It’s a very strong statement that we are making here for the community, that we strongly condemn any form of racism, discrimination and oppression in the town of Carmel. We condemn and will not tolerate it.

“We wanted to make the statement by resolution, so the residents know that their town board opposes any racism in the town,” he continued. “We came out with this [resolution] so you understand that.”

Deputy Supervisor Suzi McDonough said she’s live in Mahopac all her life and believes it’s a wonderful community, but as a resident and board member, she will not tolerate discrimination.

“We are all equal, we are all one people,” she said. “And it would be a much better world if we all just worked together.”

The resolution reads in full as follows:

Resolution condemning and rejecting all forms of racism discrimination and oppression

Whereas, slavery, racism and racial discord have stained American history from its earliest days and the progeny of this legacy continues to manifest today in mistrust between minority communities and law enforcement; and

Whereas, citizens and the government of the town of Carmel have long embraced the basic premise of American society that all people are created equal; and

Whereas, many great civil rights leaders from Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas, to Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., dedicated, and in some instances sacrificed their lives in the name of social justice and equality; and

Whereas, the vast majority of those who have exercised their constitutional rights have done so peacefully in the spirit of America’s great civil rights leaders, while a virulent minority have engaged in violence, larceny, arson and other serious crimes; and

Whereas, the strength of racial, religious and cultural diversity is recognized and respected by all agencies and departments of the town of Carmel including the Carmel Police Department; and Whereas, the Carmel Police Department stands as a cornerstone of our community and has been recognized for its high level of professionalism in its relationship and dealings with all members of the town of Carmel and surrounding communities, be it resolved, that the Town Board of the town of Carmel wholeheartedly condemns all heinous acts of violence, prejudice and injustice; and be it further resolved, that the Town Board of the town of Carmel once again reaffirms its commitment to achieving a free and equal society;

And be it further resolved that the Town Board of the town of Carmel once again rejects hate-motivated crime as an attack on the fabric of the American society and the ideals of pluralism and diversity;

And be it further resolved that the Town Board of the town of Carmel rejects all violence and the destruction of property and is committed to the protection and safety of all its residents.

And be it further resolved that the Town Board of the town of Carmel wholeheartedly rejects all forms of hatred, racism, oppression, religious or ethnic bias, discrimination, incitement of violence, vandalism or animus.

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