LETTER TO THE EDITOR: In support of Randolph’s Congressman after Trump’s attacks
Click here for original article in July 19, 2019 Randolph Journal-Sun
To the Editor:
An open letter to Ayanna Pressley’s constituents:
In light of Trump’s racist, xenophobic attacks on our member of Congress, Ayanna Pressley, and her three compatriots in Congress, we wrote to Rep. Pressley to assure her of Randolph’s support. They thanked us in a personal response, and we’d like to encourage other Randolph citizens to write to Rep. Pressley also - and Milton and Boston and the rest of her district, and nearby.
President Trump called on Rep. Pressley to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Rep. Pressley was born in Ohio and has lived in Boston since attending B.U. in the 1990s. We don’t consider Boston (nor Ohio) to be crime-infested and we want to recognize that Rep. Pressley is an American citizen, and claiming otherwise is racist and xenophobic.
President Trump’s vile and ignorant attacks must be immediately responded to and support given to our elected Congresswomen. They must be told quickly that we support them. We are with them. They are not alone when under assault by Trump.
We must remember, however, that Trump is the master of distraction and deception. We, the Congress, and the media must keep the focus on the evils of Trump’s White House, Trump’s family’s and friends’ criminal and traitorous acts, past and present, as well as on the spineless, immoral, quisling Republican-run US Senate and Republican Party.
It would be supportive if you would call or email your support to Rep. Pressley. She can be contacted at 617-620-6460, firstname.lastname@example.org , or 1700 Dorchester Avenue, Boston, MA 02122.
Kevin Coleman Joyce, Chair of the Randolph Democratic Town Committee
Jesse Gordon, Press Secretary of the Randolph Democratic Town Committee
Jesse's Facebook discussion in support of Ayanna Pressley after Trump’s attacks
Following are excerpts from a discussion on this topic from "Everything Randolph" Facebook, highlighting my opinion and the opposing opinion of Councilor James Burgess.
In the Town Council discussion on the Pressley Resolution below, Councilor Burgess cited the letter-to-the-editor above, and suggested that the Pressley Resolution borrowed from it, or vice-versa. That's not the case -- I wrote the letter above with Kevin Joyce, independently of the Pressley Resolution. The Pressley Resolution certainly addresses the same ideas in the same tone, but that's because both groups drew the same conclusions independently. The letter-to-the-editor was published before the Pressley Resolution was made public, and neither Kevin Joyce nor myself saw it beforehand. The Pressley Resolution was written before the letter-to-the-editor was published, and its authors did not see an advance copy of the letter-to-the-editor.
Jesse Gordon: Town Council vote this evening on "Resolution Supporting Ayanna Pressley" -- voting to kill resolution: Jim Burgess, Bill Alexopoulous, Chris Alexopoulous, Ryan Egan. Voting to support resolution: Ken Clifton, Katrina Huff-Larmond, Natacha Clerger, Arthur Goldstein. Absent: Jason Adams (who co-sponsored the resolution but being absemt, his vote did not count, so the resolution was killed).
Glen J. Cabbage: My town has NO BUSINESS meddling in national politics and taking it upon themselves to put the name of this town on such a pointless, repugnant, and controversial resolution such as this. If you want to vote for this person, fine, do so, but don't put MY town's name on YOUR political agenda! You people love to tout your "inclusiveness" around here. Well, you can start by remembering that not everyone here is a mindless leftist and we'd appreciate you taking that into account when you try to use the positions that WE hired you for to promote YOUR political agenda at the national level.
Timothy Barchard: Glen J. Cabbage mindless left? Clear to explain why you would attack people with a different view than you? Or are you with those “mindless right” that always find an excuse for our oh so glorious leader and his propaganda machines?
Nika Saragian: The town council should not be should not be taking any official stance on national politics! Each member has a right to their opinion and has a right to voice it but not as council agenda. We, the taxpayers of Randolph, need them to work on town issues
Ken Clifton: My constituents come in every race, color and creed. I represent them with equal vigor and passion. Anything that bothers them, bothers me.
James F. Burgess Jr.: Ken Clifton, well some of your constituents are bothered by a partisan stance by their Council.
Bruno Monteiro: James F. Burgess Jr., Can you tell me who are the “some”? A large group of Randolph residents feel disrespected and abandoned. You sir, seem to not care. There is nothing partisan about this. The black and brown community in Randolph feel that thy are under attack. This letter, helps them feel supported. It does not have to be partisan.
James F. Burgess Jr.: Bruno Monteiro, some of the some where at the meeting last night, others have posted here. Your assumption that I do not care is far from accurate. Why do some of our residents feel disrespected and abandoned? I acknowledged last night that there are many in our community who feel left out of the process and disconnected from their government and we need to recognize that as leaders. There was a comment made last night that people feel unsafe to leave their houses to buy milk. If that is true then we should be having a discussion about that and if true what we can do as a town to change that. This resolution does nothing to address it, in fact does not even mention it. I believe that if we want to make a statement on a specific issue, then lets talk about that issue as a community and see if we can come to a common ground. To continue to try and elevate the civil debate, this resolution is not productive and does not move the Town of Randolph forward and only further divides us and we see it by the clear vitriol of some comments made on all these threads on this topic. I would be more than willing to sit with you and anyone you want to bring, except Dave Harris to have a conversation on what groups feel disrespected and abandoned , I assume you mean by their government. let me know when you want to meet, because I care more than you may know or care to know.
Bruno Monteiro: James F. Burgess Jr. feeling disrespected. But also when it comes to the residents of this town,residents who have been commented on this issue,. They have been dismissive and disregard the importance of this resolution is to the black and brown people of this town. They have said it’s a waste of time and they rather discuss the trash issue. Can you see how that can be upsetting ? Especially because the divide seems to be on racial lines. But as soon as I mention race, as a black male, I’m pulling out the race card.
James F. Burgess Jr.: Bruno Monteiro you added to your post. The resolution does not mention the black and brown conmunity, it talks about members of Congress and how they are affected. This does not talk about how are residents feel. This paper makes people feel safe? Councilor Clerger has done more to actually address our immigrant not all black or brown , population than this resolution ever will. The Turner Free Library has had programs and information for immigrants as well as illegal immigrants. I am not saying that I take any credit for those programs or actions, but i recognize that those actions better serve our Town than a resolution patting A Congresswoman on the back for a job well done. I am genuine about the meeting.
Karen Griffin: Sir, I am the “some”. So we are here! This town is in desperate need of a meeting and solutions for the Town of Randolph NOT national politics. Sell the RICC we can’t afford it. Put the seniors back in the old building. If you want a gymnasium add one on there. Get a plan to start replacing all the water pipes in this town. Tear down the hockey rink and build a new one and get professional management to run it. Enough of friends of friends getting jobs in this town to run things. I could go on and on.
Bruno Monteiro: James F. Burgess Jr. honestly it’s not about giving the congresswoman a pat on the back. It might seem that way to you. But it’s has deeper value than that. Your voice might be needed in mending the divide. Your voice might be needed in letting the other residents know that a large portion of Randolph residents feel disrespected. And that feeling of disrespect should not be chalked up as leftist talk. But anyways. Thank you for taking time to discuss this matter.
James F. Burgess Jr.: Bruno Monteiro I said last night and I believe it, the President knows what he is doing when he says what he says he gets the left , which I am on crazy and they cant think of anything else. evrytime he does this it rallies his base and one side says comments to the other side that is offensive and soon it is like the hatfield and mccoys, no one remembers what the original argument was over. you see it in these threads. Race is one of those topics that provokes many strong reactions. so you have to expect a reaction. Some people assume things about how I think and what I believe just by seeing me as a white male of privilege, ive been told as much by members of the Council with whom I serve. In my view people are to quick to jump to race as a reason for someones comments or actions. When it could be as simple as they just dont like the other person, or simply have strong views that are contrary to the other persons. we can not assume that all democrats are crazy liberals and all people who support President Trump are racists because its not true. Until we raise the level of the discussion we will not move forward.
JesseAlan Gordon: James F. Burgess Jr. , it’s not “partisan” for everyone in Randolph to agree that our district is not “crime-infested” nor “broken.” It’s the proper role of the Town Council to stand up to racist bullying like President Trump’s when our district is bullied nationally. The Randolph Town Council should pass this resolution, then work with other town councils to do the same, in our district and in the other three districts that Trump bullied.
James F. Burgess Jr.: JesseAlan Gordon the resolution in front of the council is partisan, It is similiar language to the the one drafted by the Dem town committee and asks us to thank our Congresswoman. As i said last night, if we as a community as a council want to have an honest discussion on any of these issues, then lets, but you can not ask the Town to support Congresswoman Talib and Omar without having a discussion on the anti Semitic comments made, we cant be asked to support immigration without having a conversation about our collective failure as a country by both parties on immigration policy. We are asked to Thank our Congresswoman for all her hard work and standing strong in this resolution. You said above that we should tell our President that our district is not broken. Many in Randolph would say that our water system is broken, our roads our broken, our schools are broken. You argued last year in seeking an office, that our political system was broken. So maybe it would serve our Congresswoman well to call the Town of Randolph and ask how she could help us fix what is indeed broken and need of repair in part of her district. We elect her to represent our interests, and yes she should speak on issues of national importance, she also needs to speak about issues that go to the core of our Town in her district. I said last night as well as other Councilors that the comments made by our President are offensive and have no place in America or American politics. this resolution does none of that and only seeks to divide our community further and does nothing to raise the level of debate. This is partisan from the get go
JesseAlan Gordon: James F. Burgess Jr. , you say that “the comments made by our President are offensive and have no place in America”— i agree— but we disagree on what to DO about it. When i see something broken about Randolph, i work to fix it. You voted to remain silent— to let Trump go on calling our district “broken” and “crime-infested” without comment. I apply that old phrase, “Silence is complicity.” We either challenge Trump that he is wrong about Randolph, as i suggest, or we silently accept Trump’s distorted reality, as you suggest. You complained last night about the “Therefore” clause—the conclusion of the resolution. Ok, if it’s unacceptable as-is, how about you amend it to what you do agree with? Such as “the comments made by our President are offensive and have no place in America”? Would you be willing to vote for the resolution if its conclusions were your own verbiage, from this discussion?
Dan Clifford: This whole thread makes me sad and very concerned for our town...and our country. All I'll say here is Ms Pressley is the FIRST woman of color our supposedly progressive state has EVER elected to Congress. Seems like some are none too happy about it. Why? Don't tell me about her politics. Mr Burgess...perhaps you could take at least as much action in addressing our continuing water problems before we become the next Flint...rather than chirping about this. For example...have you reached out to our freshman congresswoman? Have you asked for HER help...or offered her yours? Jesse Gordon...for your part...I wish you would stop trying so hard to build your political brand and work WITH people...rather than widen the gap politically between us. You are BOTH guilty. We have enough trouble in our federal gov't. You think Trump will be offering us help from the feds? DO YOUR DAMN JOBS ALL OF YOU!
Mark Snyder: Personally, I think the Randolph Town Council should stay OUT of national politics. But, that's only my opinion.
Bruno Monteiro: Mark Snyder it’s not national politics if it effects many residents directly. Even if you think it shouldn’t, it does.
James F. Burgess Jr.: JesseAlan Gordon we stood and said without hesitation or equivocation, the presidents words were offensive and have no place in America or American politics. You can attempt to distort what was said last night, and try and drive another wedge in this community, I simply am not playing your game. To have your supporters claim Randolph residents are afraid to leave there homes and buy milk is offensive, and un true. My party has played right into the Presidents reelection game plan. We cry victim at every opportunity, we have become a nation offended by everything and everyword, and we expect that just because someone has an opinion, makes that opinion as valuable and equal as someone else with more information and expertise. The days where everyone gets a trophy for participation has driven our Nation into an expectation game that is not the real world and shouldnt be. I am not going to continue the back and forth with you on this subject as we will not agree and I believe your motives to be political in nature and not in any real way moving the Country or our community to a higher level of debate.
JesseAlan Gordon: James F. Burgess Jr. , I appreciate what you said at the Town Council meeting and found it inspiring, and I was sincerely hoping that we could work together on a new Resolution that would include your opinion. I'm sorry that you've interpreted that as gamesmanship -- I'll give up on this issue. But perhaps you might consider that progressives like me are sincere, like I heard you as sincere in your comments last night. I've got a couple other issues in mind that I'll present to you later, where we might find some common ground.
Town Council Resolution in support of Ayanna Pressley after Trump’s attacks
For the Town Council resolution on the same topic, click here to download: Pressley Resolution 7/22/19.
Resolution: 2019- Introduced By: Councilor Kenrick W. Clifton
Councilor Katrina Huff-Larmond
July 29, 2019
United States Representative for the 7th District of Massachusetts Ayanna Pressley
and Other Members of Congress
WHEREAS, as the Randolph Town Council has recognized in the past, the United States is a great and diverse nation that is strengthened by the contributions of all, including millions of immigrants from all over the world; and
WHEREAS, Alexander Hamilton, founding father and First Secretary of the Treasury, was himself born on the island of Nevis in the country of St. Kitts and Nevis, demonstrating that the contribution of immigrants has been significant and can be seen in every aspect of our national life; and
WHEREAS, we celebrate our diversity and the strength that comes from being a nation of immigrants; and
WHEREAS, Randolph is a diverse community that is comprised, in large part, of many strong, vibrant immigrant populations; and
WHEREAS, the President of the United States has recently made derogatory, xenophobic and racist remarks that implicate the national origins of certain members of Congress; and
WHEREAS those remarks appear to be directed at four specific members of the United States House of Representatives, all of whom are women of color; and
WHEREAS those members are Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan; Representative Ilhan Omar, a Somali refugee and U.S. citizen from Minnesota; Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York; and our own Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts; and
WHEREAS the President’s comments targeted people of color and told them to “go back”; and
WHEREAS these types of remarks have the effect of escalating and reinforcing fear that immigrants and people of color may feel as they try to live and work in a country that they love and which is their home; and
WHEREAS we must work to eliminate this type of hate and ensure that America remains a beacon of hope, freedom and opportunity for all and that its triumph and greatness remain unsurpassed; and
WHEREAS one of the targeted members, Ayanna Pressley, is our Representative, the Representative for the 7th District of Massachusetts and a former City Council member for the City of Boston; and
WHEREAS Randolph residents have therefore had the opportunity to regularly view her work, her commitment to fairness and justice for all, and her dedication to the community;
THEREFORE, the Randolph Town Council hereby expresses their support for Representative Ayanna Pressley and her colleagues in defending themselves from these unwarranted, vindictive and hateful attacks, affirms that Representative Ayanna Pressley represents a diverse community and reflects the community she represents, and expresses its gratitude to the Representative for all of the good work she has done and continues to do on behalf of all of her constituents, including and in particular the residents of the Town of Randolph.
|Committee to Elect Jesse Gordon, 52 West St, Randolph MA 02368|
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