Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Boston friends, let's take a stand against institutionalized racism

I'm sure by now you've all heard about the growing human rights atrocity in Arizona. Last week, the state legislature passed legislation (SB1070) granting local law enforcement officials the authority to patrol illegal immigration in a way that lends itself to blatant racial profiling. Individuals can be investigated and prompted to show appropriate documentation if they break any law or ordinance (this included putting your trash cans too close to the curb or j-walking). This new legislation opens the doors to endless harassment and profiling of legal hispanic immigrants.

Today and tomorrow Boston residents have an opportunity to take a stand. Tonight in my Activism & Change class we had a special guest; Boston City Councilman Felix Arroyo. Councilman Arroyo has an amazing message and an innovative approach to making politics more collaborative and bringing citizens of all ages into the process. He comes from a background of union organizing, coaching youth sports, and advocating for equality. He has proposed a bill that calls for Boston's divestment from Arizona. By passing this bill, Boston can join other cities including Oakland, Washington D.C. and Milwaukee in boycotting Arizona and Arizon-based businesses, sending a strong message that our city does not support blatant oppression and racial profiling.

This bill will not pass in Boston tomorrow without your support! Take 3 minutes right now and email a Boston City Councilor. Time is of the essence, the council will vote tomorrow at 12:30. If you can stop by city hall on your lunch break tomorrow and show your solidarity that would be great too.

Yes, security is important, but this approach in Arizona is not going to make our nation safer. This country is suppose to uphold values of equal opportunity, fairness, and acceptance regardless of race. I understand that immigration is not a clear cut issue but undoubtedly punishing migrant workers and minority groups is not the solution.

I feel a strong personal responsibility to do what I can on this issue. Sending a few emails is a great first step. I hope you feel the same.

Michael P. Ross Michael.Ross@cityofboston.gov 617.635.4225
Felix Arroyo
Felix.Arroyo@cityofboston.gov 617.635.4205
John Connolly
Stephen Murphy Stephen.Murphy@cityofboston.gov
Ayanna Pressley Ayanna.Pressley@cityofboston.gov
Salvatore LaMattina Salvatore.LaMattina@cityofboston.gov
Bill Linehan Bill.Linehan@cityofboston.gov
Maureen Feeney Maureen.Feeney@cityofboston.gov
Charles Yancey Charles.Yancey@cityofboston.gov
Robert Cansalvo
John Tobin John.Tobin@cityofboston.gov
Chuck Turner Chuck.Turner@cityofboston.gov
Mark Ciommo Mark.Ciommo@cityofboston.gov


  1. I sent them an email. Thanks for your post!

  2. great, thanks so much for the support!

  3. I sent them all an email and posted it on my facebook wall - which got a good conversation going. Thanks for writing this - have you heard the results yet?

  4. hey Robbie. awesome! I did the same. I haven't heard yet have you? there wasn't an update on the city council website I'm hoping for something in the globe tomorrow maybe?