Let it be known—hate has no home in New Paltz.
On Oct. 23, the New Paltz Village Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution commemorating support of anti-racist and anti-white supremacy efforts in the community.
The resolution was authored by New Paltz Village Trustee Alexandria Wojcik and Deputy Mayor KT Tobin.
“The village board recognizes the importance of public protest and collective action, and acknowledges that it is part of our village identity. We want the least onerous, least costly process in tandem with proper public safety preparation,” Tobin said.
The resolution gives kudos to the “Honor Diversity—Defeat White Supremacy” rally and march held on Saturday, Nov. 2 by the New Paltz Women in Black.
“We have folks like the Women in Black who have been vocal community activists for many, many years. We are just recognizing their ongoing and important work,” said Mayor Tim Rogers.
Adding to the efforts of combating racism and white supremacy, the One Book One New Paltz committee has chosen “Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist” by Eli Saslow as this year’s selection. The book tells the transformation story of Derek Black, an expected future leader of the white nationalist movement, who denounces his former beliefs and adopts a new perspective.
The resolution reads that “New Paltz values inclusivity and respect for people, and given that so many are facing hatred, discrimination, and violence, we feel it is crucial to create awareness and fight back against white supremacy while providing support and solidarity for all.”
The resolution holds no legislative power, but is merely a formal opinion by the Board of Trustees adopted by vote. It makes the stand to remain “united in the goal to always legislate with love in such a way that fosters a community of unlearning — and working to defeat — white supremacy.”
“I think that the point of the resolution like this is just to reemphasize our community’s shared values and that we’re troubled by the more recent conversations that have unfortunately come to roost after Trump’s administration has taken office,” Rogers said.
Rogers claimed that thus far, there has been no negative feedback on the resolution.
However, community member Philip Vaughan commented “a ludicrous waste of time” on Wojcik’s Facebook post of the resolution. Vaughan could not be reached in time for print.
With last year’s controversial flag march and the racist memes posted on the door of B&L Jewelers, it raises the question whether this resolution will impact the opinions and behavior of community members. It also leaves speculation on how this will affect free speech.
“I think what we are trying to do is to encourage free speech with a resolution like this,” Rogers said.
The Village Clerk is directed to send a copy of this resolution to U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, U.S. Congressman Antonio Delgado, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, State Sen. Jen Metzger, State Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, County Executive Patrick Ryan, City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble, Ulster County Legislative Chair Tracey Bartels and Ulster County Legislator James Delaune.