Reading, MA — At Reading’s virtual Town Meeting held on June 15, 2020, at 7 p.m., Town Meeting Members voted to join other local leaders and residents in condemning the actions or inactions of the Minneapolis police officers that resulted in the death of George Floyd and to condemn all forms of racism. Ninety percent of Town Meeting voted to approve this instructional motion. The co-petitioners of the motion were Megan Fidler-Carey of Precinct 1, Theresa Wiggins of Precinct 8, and Jennifer Hillery of Precinct 7.
Theresa Wiggins, Town Meeting Member and co-petitioner of the motion, states, “This is an important moment for our town’s legislative body, Town Meeting. It is an acknowledgment that we not only condemn racism in its most overt forms but that we must also actively vote in ways that are anti-racist and promote racial equality.”
Town Meeting Member and Member of Reading Embraces Diversity (R.E.D), Linda Snow Dockser, P.h.D., states, “The passage of this motion is an important message that progress is being made and it gives me hope for the future. There are so many in our community who have laid the groundwork up until now. Reading is off to a good start and we have only just begun to do the work that is necessary to address racial injustice.”
The motion in full reads as follows:
“To see if Town Meeting will adopt the following resolution:
We, the voters at the 2020 Annual Town Meeting of the Town of Reading, join the Reading Police Department, the Reading Public Schools, the Reading School Committee, the Reading Select Board, Reading’s Human Relations Advisory Committee, the Reading Teachers Association, numerous Reading businesses and organizations, places of worship, and individual Reading citizens, in condemning the egregious actions taken by four members of the Minneapolis Police Department, whether by action or inaction, that resulted in the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. We also condemn all forms of racism.
As members of Reading’s Representative Town Meeting, our community’s legislative body, we do not take for granted our solemn duty to represent eight precincts of over 24,000 residents. As members of one of the purest forms of democratic government, we have the important ability to effect change directly in our community through our votes and voices on town and school budgets and town by-laws.
It is therefore incumbent upon us, as we fulfill our role as Town Meeting Members, to examine and utilize our influence as elected officials to combat racial injustice and to promote racial equality; and to listen to and to stand in solidarity with our residents and students of color.
The Town Clerk of the Town of Reading shall send a copy of this resolution to the state and federal representatives and senators serving the Town of Reading, and to the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the President of the United States, and take any other appropriate action relative thereto.”
For more information on this Town Meeting visit: https://www.readingma.gov/administrative-services/town-clerk/pages/2020-annual-town-meeting-information.