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Schenectady council to pass resolution condemning racism

Schenectady council to pass resolution condemning racism

Will likely be formally approved next week
Schenectady council to pass resolution condemning racism
People gather for a candlelight vigil on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 16, 2017.
Photographer: Jason Lappa/The New York Times

The Schenectady City Council is expected to formally approve next week a resolution condemning racism and the response from the Trump administration to recent national events that have put white supremacist groups in the spotlight.

Four council members sponsored the resolution, which was reviewed at Monday’s meeting. The legislation, which is symbolic and has no effect on city government, calls on President Donald Trump and all federal and state representatives to publicly denounce racial bigotry and hate speech.

Ed Kosiur, John Mootooveren, John Polimeni and Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas, all Democrats, introduced the resolution.

The document states that Schenectady is “proud of its cultural diversity and rejects retrograde ideologies, violence, hateful speech and racial bigotry that seeks to destabilize our nation, society, government and infect our political system.”

The resolution was introduced about 10 days after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Three people died and dozens were injured after an Aug. 12 rally organized by white supremacist groups devolved into chaos.

In the aftermath of the rally, Trump argued there was violence coming from “many sides.” He later spoke out against white supremacist groups, only to backtrack a day later by defending their actions, suggesting counterprotesters were at least partly at fault for the violence.

Polimeni read the resolution in full during Monday night’s committee meeting. There was no discussion on the topic. The resolution will likely be formally approved during next week’s regular council meeting.

The four council members who introduced the resolution are the same four who introduced and ultimately pushed through a resolution calling on Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform. That decision came in April after residents for several weeks urged council members to consider making Schenectady a sanctuary city.

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