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Statement from Mayor Nancy Rotering

Published June 3, 2020

Our nation is in pain. We mourn the recent murders of Black Americans including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others whose names we haven’t even heard. During this difficult time, it is important to reiterate that we as a City stand against racism, discrimination and the systemic injustices that have existed since our nation’s founding. There must not be another name added to this list.

Necessary and meaningful changes are long overdue. It is up to each of us to ensure that change is far-reaching, swift, meaningful, and lasting. If we pledge “With liberty and justice for all,” then we cannot allow racism and injustice to persist. It is our responsibility to take action.

We can start by listening more and talking less, resisting the urge to respond with a better or different insight, educating ourselves and others with factual information about systemic racism, and being empathic allies.

I speak for all of us at the City and ask that you join us as we work to build more bridges and move forward together as one community. We are a welcoming community and a caring community. Join us in upholding our values and actions as outlined in the City of Highland Park Statement Against Hate:

The City of Highland Park unequivocally condemns any racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT, ableist, or otherwise hate-motived groups or individuals who are threatening any form of violent acts, bigoted harassment on, or discrimination against our residents, visitors, or city staff. This behavior is never acceptable, but it is particularly outrageous that any groups would further an agenda of hate and fear.

Highland Park will take every possible action to ensure that residents, workers, and visitors will not face discrimination or harassment. Violent threats have no place in our country, state, or city, and will not be tolerated. Reports of such hate crimes are of great concern. Be assured that the City’s Police Department will continue to work closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies to ensure the continued safety of our community.

It is vitally important that our community holds to our values and stands together in denouncing all acts of bigotry and violence. Hate has no home in Highland Park or anywhere.

These words, carefully crafted by elected and appointed officials and City staff, represent who we are as a community. The words are not an end, but a beginning. They will continue to guide all of us individually and collectively as we move forward peacefully, passionately, and with purpose to heal and seek to make our community and our nation better. The City of Highland Park will not waiver in its commitment to equal rights and respect for all.