Media Statement Denouncing Racist Hate

Published on May 16, 2022

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MEDIA STATEMENT 

For Immediate Release  

City Stands Together in Solidarity with the City of Buffalo, N.Y Community and Denounces Racist Hate 

PALO ALTO, CALIF. --- The Palo Alto City Council, in collaboration with the City’s Human Relations Commission, denounces racist hate and stands together in solidarity with the City of Buffalo, N.Y. in response to the shootings on Saturday that tragically left ten people dead, which police have said were racially motivated.  

“We stand together with Buffalo in solidarity and support during this tragic time. We mourn with the families and friends of those impacted by this horrible event. As a community and as a country, we can stand together against racist hate, and encourage acts of kindness and belonging,” said Pat Burt, Palo Alto mayor. “This tragedy must serve for us all to rededicate ourselves to ending hate crimes everywhere. Our communities and our nation are strengthened by our diversity, and we must speak out and act against all hate crimes such as the horrific act of violence in Buffalo.” 

At the City Council meeting this evening, following comments related to this community statement, a moment of silence will be observed, and the meeting will be adjourned in honor of the victims.    

Palo Alto is committed to creating an inclusive, welcoming community. Within the past two years, the City has taken important steps to build racial understanding and equity, including adopting a race and equity mission statement to guide the City’s programs and priorities; adopting new policing policies and practices; expanding the role of the Independent Police Auditor; the City’s Human Relations Commission hosting 100 conversations on race; the City’s Public Art Commission establishing the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Coretta Scott King Artist Residency: Rituals of Resilience at King Plaza (King Plaza is located at Palo Alto City Hall and named for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King); and numerous community programs about culture, identity, belonging and resilience.  

The Human Relations Commission continues this work, recognizing that "All individuals who live, work or worship in the community have the right to do so without fear of verbal or physical abuse or attack." As part of their work the Commission will explore and implement avenues to decrease hate crimes and hate based incidences in the community. The Commission will also explore ways in which the Commission can continue to positively affect the sense of inclusion and belonging in the community.   

The City sees this moment of tragedy as an important time to recommit to this important work.   

For more on the City’s race and equity work, go to www.cityofpaloalto.org/raceandequity

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