NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz told 22News Wednesday night no policies will be enforced, but the city wants to remind its residents that it will not tolerate any hate crimes following the presidential election.
After someone painted hateful graffiti on Mt. Tom this month, Northampton City Councilors prepared a resolution, affirming Northampton as a “hate free zone.”
City Councilors are calling on residents to not participate in hate, and to stop any discrimination they see. “This election cycle has really uncovered some levels of bigotry in our society,” said City Councilor Alisa Klein.
Lilly Gave, a Northampton therapist, told 22News it’s affected her patients; “There’s a lot of young people that are feeling helpless and hopeless, that they haven’t been heard.”
In the resolution, the City Council will promise to uphold this anti-discrimination status, and while it’s not designated a “Sanctuary City,” Northampton will continue to offer sanctuary to oppressed immigrants and refugees.
Mayor Narkewicz said, “The concern really is the erosion of trust between the police and our immigrant communities who may be afraid to report crime. “ The Mayor signed an ordinance in 2014 prohibiting police from turning immigrants over to the federal government, unless they’re involved in criminal activity.
The resolution will be considered at Thursday night’s meeting at 7:00 p.m.
“Everyone, from the City Council to the Police Chief to this Mayor, wants people to know that we are going to do our best to make sure that this kind of action is not tolerated, and that all of our city residents are safe in our community,” said Mayor Narkewicz.
Earlier Wednesday, Governor Charlie Baker said he will fight to make sure Massachusetts towns, like Northampton, don’t lose federal funding in protecting immigrants, after President-elect Donald Trump said he would create strong immigration reform. Northampton does have special provisions to protect immigrants.