A message from our member Nancy Greene: Please consider attending the City Council meeting tonight at 6:30 on the 2nd floor of Lowell’s City Hall where the Council will hear about a proposed Trust Ordinance for the City of Lowell similar to the Trust ordinances in effect in Boston and Lawrence.
Lowell is a very special city in that we’re a designated refugee intake city. In addition to our refugees, we also have many immigrants who come to us outside the refugee process, because we’ve demonstrated over and over that we’re welcoming and accepting.
The proposed Trust Ordinance would help protect ALL of our immigrants by saying we won’t have our local police force do ICE’s (Immigration Services) job for them. Lowell’s Chief of Police, Bill Taylor, has publicly affirmed on many occasions his commitment to community policing, and cites that community policing only works when there’s trust both ways. People who don’t trust police are less likely to report crimes, and he’s particularly concerned that undocumented immigrants will not feel comfortable reporting crimes because of their immigrations status. Lowell police don’t want to check immigration status for anybody under any circumstances, but they’d like the direction from City Council to protect them in doing only their own jobs and not ICE’s too.
Your presence at tonight’s City Council meeting (whether you live in Lowell or not) would be greatly appreciated. You won’t be called upon to speak, just be present in the room and let the City Council know that there is overwhelming support for their consideration of this ordinance. Our presence is particularly important in this, a City Council election year. The Council will be loathe to rock the boat this year because they want to be re-elected, so we need to demonstrate that this is a boat that needs to be rocked a bit and that failure to act on this ordinance could actually adversely affect their re-election bids.
Hope to see you at 6:30 tonight in a standing room only Council Chambers.