Dear Arlington friends and neighbors,
As we enter 2020, the Arlington Human Rights Commission (AHRC) would like to share our thoughts with you about the past and more importantly about our future. Our Commission of 13 has 6 new members, increasingly reflecting the growing diversity of our town. Our entire Commission is energized to work together with the community to address the challenging human rights issues facing those who live, work and visit Arlington.
As we move forward, we are mindful of the damage to our community that has yet to be repaired. Regrettably, our town has experienced incidents of hate, intolerance, and inflammatory language, stemming from racism, anti-Semitism, anti-immigrant sentiment, and systemic discrimination. Homophobic, anti-Semitic, and racist graffiti has been scrawled in our schools. A house of worship and home of a Rabbi and his family was set on fire twice. Hate speech targeting communities of color, immigrants and refugees, religious minorities and other vulnerable communities has been circulated and heard. Hateful incidents like these have caused widespread fear. Arlington can and must do better.