Mayor John Thomaides brought to City Council the Compact to Combat Hate, a compact signed by more than 300 mayors across the U.S. Mayor Thomadies shared the compact with City Council at the Oct. 17 meeting.
The compact’s purpose is to find solutions on how to act toward hate crimes. This is the resolution after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville back in August, which resulted in a vehicular attack and homicide.
Mayor Thomaides recently has been receiving backlash over the controversy Naomi Narvaiz. Narvaiz tweeted controversial statements regarding immigrants and DREAMers.
Mayor Thomaides stated that the compact was “in no way related to the controversy with the school board”. Many locals had criticized the Mayor for not involving himself in this matter. However, this compact only relates to crimes that have hate implications.
“I do not agree with Mrs. Narvaiz, nor would I put comments like that on Twitter,” Thomaides stated.
Mayor Thomaides wanted to bring attention to this compact on a local level by reaching out to police officials to enforce this compact, community outreach to inform and educated locals the difference between free speech and hate crime. Ok, but what does this look like? Are there going to be community workshops on media law? Is the university participating in this too?
Lisa Prewitt, Place 1, encourage the compact reach beyond just the mayor or City Council.
“I think this entire initiative should be a community initiative,” Prewitt said.
There are efforts that already are in motion. Chief Chase Stapp briefed City Council on police outreach, which is an initiative that police are taking to build a relationship with locals. This includes holding community discussion forums, being involved in the program “Coffee with a Cop”, where officers pick a restaurant to provide coffee and hold an open forum where locals can discuss their concerns while drinking coffee. In addition to this, Chief Stapp looks forward to holding big community outreach events, such as bar-b-qs, where locals can gather and meet their officers and tell them what is on their minds.
Mayor Thomadies asked the Council and city manager to begin developing an action plan for implementing the compact.