Last night's Township Council meeting highlighted the stark contrast between the wonderful job the Republican Council members gushingly congratulated themselves and each other on, and the harsh daily realities faced by many of the people they are supposed to serve.
They still don't quite seem to get it. They kept touting the resolution they passed last June after George Floyd's murder and the despicable incident of racial bullying on Instagram among several Randolph high school students. The resolution merely condemned "acts of racism" without condemning the actual racists or the racism behind their acts. What's the opposite of damning with faint praise - condoning with faint criticism?
To be fair, though, it seems they are finally trying for real this time. The Township passed a resolution to finally recognize MLK Day and Black History Month, although no mention was made of recognizing Juneteenth. Or Pride Month. Or Diwali. Well, it's a start anyway. But last night also highlighted how much hard work there still is to be done.
Perhaps my favorite moment of the night was when Black resident Hazel Balll spoke heartbreakingly about the trauma she and her family have endured from repeated acts of racially based terrorism, from being bullied with racial epithets in our schools, to having banana peels and other garbage thrown onto their property, to having vandals invade and deface their property. She directly challenged every member of the Council to put Black Lives Matter signs on their own front lawns. Brava!
It was gratifying to note, however, that many of the initiatives the council says they will be working on this year are ideas our campaign advocated for strongly, proving once again that our ideas are the right choice for Randolph. Although we clearly did not prevail in the election, it is good to know that our ideas did - racial and social justice, the DISC, addressing needed upgrades to our utilities infrastructure, anti-bias training, and environmental initiatives including improvements to our recycling program and pursuing Green certifications. (Take care of my baby Joanne, I'll be watching.)
I wish the Council success in navigating the many challenges of the year ahead, and hope that they are able to meet those challenges with fairness, sensitivity, and equitability towards all of our residents.