University Park - A "Welcoming Town"
Over the past several years, University Park took several steps at becoming a more welcoming community. One of those steps involved amending our code to include a "Welcoming Town" section that prohibits our police from using traffic stops or other routine police business to inquire on an individual's citizenship or immigration status--questions that People of Color are routinely subjected to.
At a Special Council Session on May 31st, the Council unanimously adopted two resolutions that expand the notion of a "Welcoming Town".
The first resolution declares the Month of June as Pride Month in University Park to take pride in our Nation's founding principles that each person is entitled to "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" and should be accorded the full recognition and protection of the law irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The second resolution acknowledges June 19th as "Juneteenth" in University Park to highlight the importance of this new national holiday. On June 19th, 1865, military authorities carried the news of President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation to the African American slaves in Texas. Two and a half years after President Lincoln's proclamation, these slaves were the last to be delivered this news.
The flags at Town Hall have been posted in honor of these two resolutions. While resolutions like this may seem trivial to some, they are important to me and our Council. They represent a notable departure from our Town's misguided founding values (est. 1936) that offered a special haven to simple-minded people by outlawing property sales to African Americans, Jews, and other minority groups. Importantly, these resolutions should be of comfort to our LGBTQ and African American residents whose communities have endured significant struggles in the pursuit for equality.
If you have thoughts on how our Town can continue to expand on the "Welcoming Town" concept, please let me and your Councilmember know.
Be on the lookout for other recognition events in the future. November, for example, will be dedicated to our local Veterans who will be similarly recognized with flags at Town Hall.
Mayor, Town of University Park
301.351.0553 - Cellular (text for a faster response)
301.927.4262, Extension 100 - Office