US mayors form alliance to combat hate

22nd August 2017 Jonathan Andrews

More than 200 US mayors have joined the Anti-Defamation League and US Conference of Mayors (USCM) in a new initiative to fight extremism and bigotry in America.

The ‘Mayors Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry’ comes in response to the violence and hate seen in Charlottesville over the 12-13 August weekend. More than 240 mayors from across the country representing USCM so far have pledged to implement the plan.

“What happened in Charlottesville [the] weekend [12-13 August] reminds us all that violent hate and racism are very much alive in America in 2017,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of USCM. “For decades, America’s mayors have taken a strong position in support of civil rights and in opposition to racism and discrimination of all kinds. At this critical time mayors are doing so again through this compact in an effort to combat hate, extremism and bigotry in their cities and in our nation.”

USCM has partnered with the Anti-Defamation League to develop the 10-point Mayors’ Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry. Under the compact, mayors commit to vigorously speak out against all acts of hate; punish bias-motivated violence to the fullest extent of the law; encourage more anti-bias and anti-hate education in schools and police forces, using the league’s experts and resources for both; encourage community activities that celebrate their population’s cultural and ethnic diversity; and ensure civil rights laws are aggressively enforced and hate crimes laws are as strong as possible.

“The US Conference of Mayors deserves credit for their leadership,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and National Director, ADL. “Mayors have always been strong supporters of civil rights and counterweights to those who discriminate. ADL could not have found a better partner to work with against hate.”

Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin, will coordinate the campaign to promote the compact. He said: “Only the Statue of Liberty should be carrying a torch these days, and her message of respect must echo in America’s cities where this battle is being fought.”

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