Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Syria and Resolution

As I've said, I think that it's a good thing that city council has generally eschewed the practice of passing high-minded but fairly meaningless resolutions (we should leave that the city council of my former domicile, Berkeley, who have mastered that art).  And I think that Governor Hogan's statements are actually more reasonable and moderate than those of many of his partisan colleagues. But I think that it would be appropriate for Takoma Park City Council to pass a resolution reiterating our support for receiving refugees.  Among other things, it is my understanding that former mayor and legendary resident and activist Sammie Abdullah Abbott was the grandson of Syrians who came to this country to escape sectarian strife and political upheaval during the waning decades of Ottoman rule.  And Mayor Abbott led the effort to have the city be a sanctuary for refugees in the 1980s, especially for Central Americans fleeing political violence that was due in part to US actions.

Of course, it would also be good if the city recommitted itself to resolving some of the issues caused by that influx of residents.  One cannot spend any time in the Crossroads area without seeing area residents, mainly adult men, hanging out in shopping center parking lots without much to do.  Achievement gaps and what can be done about them are a common concern in the county school system.  Organizations such as CASA are doing great work, but it's honestly not clear what the city is doing on these issues and how or if they are working with other jurisdictions such as Prince George's County to improve conditions for long-term and newer residents alike.

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