As part of our last meeting of 2016, the City Council adopted a resolution reaffirming Palo Alto's commitment to a diverse, supportive, inclusive and protective community. The values articulated in the resolution are ones that we as Palo Altans recognize as emblematic of our community. But recently, we have been reminded that these values need to be continually reinforced.
Over the holiday break, we learned that a number of swastika symbols were drawn on signs within Palo Alto and at Stanford. These symbols of bigotry and hate are disturbing. Of course, we must remain vigilant and speak out against such acts and do everything we can to protect our community while remaining open and inclusive. One passage of the resolution speaks to this directly, and states, "The City of Palo Alto rejects bigotry in all its forms, including but not limited to Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, nativism, misogyny and homophobia."
We should take great comfort that such occurrences are rare in Palo Alto. At first glance, this appears to have been the work of an individual, and there have been no further incidents reported. But, we cannot be complacent when we do experience such acts. Our Police Department continues to investigate the incidents, and is doing everything they can to identify those responsible and bring them to justice. To that end, we encourage anybody with information to contact the Police Department’s 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.
As Palo Altans, we can all reaffirm our City’s commitment to a diverse, supportive, inclusive and protective community through our actions and words each and every day.