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On Monday, June 16, Village President Sheena Collum issued the following statement.

Monday, December 16, 2019

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To the South Orange Community:

Earlier today, I was advised that a New Jersey-based white supremacist group distributed hateful, racist and anti-Semitic recruitment literature and posted stickers throughout our community. We are saddened but unsurprised that they would promote such hate in a community committed to embracing diversity.

Such ugliness is intended to create fear and division among us and our community will not allow this to happen. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we unequivocally condemn these messages of hate. We are, and will remain, more committed than ever to ensuring that South Orange continues to be an inclusive and welcoming community where everyone feels safe, valued, and celebrated for who they are.

We feel blessed and privileged to have so many community groups, faith-based organizations, and individuals who will stand together and reject these messages. I thank you for the calls and emails of concern and support. I am similarly grateful for the messages expressing your trust that we would take steps to address this. We have done so, and, in consultation with our legal counsel and code enforcement official, this group is being served a notice that their actions (for which they have publicly taken credit) constitute a violation of our Village Code as it pertains to the illegal postings of signs on public property. As is appropriate under the law, they will be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 for each infraction.

As we approach the darkest night of the year we reaffirm our commitment as your elected leaders to continue to working in partnership with you to create light that will push back the darkness.

The Village will continue to monitor and remove any unauthorized materials that violate our Village Code. We appreciate our community’s ongoing assistance in cleaning up the trash.

Sincerely,

Sheena Collum
Village President, Township of South Orange Village