Recently I brought calls to action to our Select Board including requesting a statement supporting Black Lives Matter and requesting review of allocation of funds to public service employees.
There are many positives happening in Hopkinton. The Police Department recently released its five-year strategic plan. Discussion has begun about means to increase diverse hiring. Police and social services are successfully collaborating through multiple programs.
I wish for Hopkinton to make a formal anti-racist statement. I understand that SB members weren’t elected based on views on national policy. They were elected to represent what is best for our town. Given that, I can understand why some members of the SB don’t feel comfortable making a statement supporting BLM, as not all constituents agree with this movement. I could ramble off reasons and statistics why we should all support BLM, but I want to keep the focus on the bigger picture of improving our town for all residents regardless of race. As we begin to recognize the inequalities and racism happening in Hopkinton, it is the responsibility of the SB to represent us all, respect us all, and recognize how challenges to some members of the community are based solely on their skin color or ethnicity.
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) crafted a pledge for mayors and select persons agreeing to address systemic racism in their communities and take steps toward these reforms. Recognizing that racism exists here and pledging to work toward a more equal community is a beginning. If the SB can’t make a formal statement supporting BLM, perhaps we can join the (at least) 18 communities and begin to bridge our community through the MAPC pledge.
The request to review allocation of town funding is not a request to defund police. The purpose is to ensure social services are getting the funding and resources needed. Social services receive significantly lower funding and priority in town than the police. In Hopkinton, our social services and police have been working together successfully. We should continue to support both services. The call to action gives us a baseline review for how we are allocating our funds so we can see where there is room for improvement as our town grows.
These proposed calls to action are meant to be inclusive, not divisive. Let’s keep making progress and ensuring that all our citizens are equally represented, protected and heard.
— Ilana Casady, Hopkinton
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