2017-03-09 / Letters to the Editor

Jamestown sets example on sanctuary city issue

To the editor:

I was so proud to be a Jamestowner after Monday night’s town council meeting, which was truly a lesson in civics, history and democracy in action.

The council passed a beautifully worded resolution proposed by Councilwoman Mary Meagher in support of a bill before the state legislature that effectively allows for sanctuary towns and cities.

Hearing the views of so many locals on both sides of the issue was illuminating, and I learned a lot of history. We heard of New England’s role in the abolitionist movement, our role in constitutional issues and about the extraordinary relationship between founder Roger Williams, an immigrant fleeing religious persecution, and chief sachem Canonicus for whom our island is named, who gave Williams shelter and land.

Today’s immigrants deserve the same, as this resolution affirms. Council members explained the resolution is not a law or ordinance, but rather a statement of values, and I believe it will be heard by other towns, cities and especially by the state as it deliberates bill 5515, which effectively allows for sanctuary cities.

In today’s divisive political environment, it especially was wonderful to see and hear the mutual civility and respect between the council members who disagree on this issue. Tolerance, civility and respect: if only Jamestown could be the model for the rest of our nation.

Nonie Drexel
Blueberry Lane

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