Town board passes anti-hate resolution

Niskayuna Town HallNiskayuna Town Hall

At the Aug. 22 Niskayuna Town Board meeting, the board passed a resolution denouncing neo-Nazi and white nationalist organizations. The resolution was put forward by Supervisor Joe Landry.

The board voted unanimously to adopt the measure, which “strongly denounce(s) the White Nationalist Organizations’ and Neo-Nazis Groups’ overtly racist, anti-Semitic, and anti immigrant values . . .”

The resolution goes on to require that a certified copy of the resolution be sent to regional, state and national officials up to and including President Trump.

“No one’s children should feel afraid,” said Councilwoman Lisa Weber, who also noted her family’s own struggle against anti-Semitism.

Councilwoman Denise Murphy McGraw talked about bringing people together. “We are residents, friends and neighbors,” Murphy McGraw said.

Councilman Bill McPartlon pointed to Imam Genghis Khan and Rabbi Matt Cutler, who were sitting together in the audience, and said, “That’s my America.”

Landry also spoke of the need to “end the culture of bigotry and discrimination” and to “choose our words carefully.”

Councilman John Della Ratta voted for the resolution with an enthusiastic, “Absolutely, yes.”

The resolution itself does not mandate any action by the town or town employees, but condemns those groups that oppose civil rights and foment hatred based on a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation and immigration status.

The City of Schenectady passed a similarly themed resolution at the Aug. 28 City Council meeting.

Cutler from Congregation Gates of Heaven and Khan addressed the board during privilege of the floor, thanking the members for making the statement that hate is not tolerated and that Niskayuna is a place for all people.