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City approves resolution to combat hate, extremism

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The city of Germantown has joined hundreds of other municipalities across the country in giving its mayor authorization to sign a resolution to “Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry.”

Monday night, the city’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the resolution by a vote of 3-0-2, with Aldermen John Barzizza and Dean Massey abstaining in favor of further examination.

Vice Mayor Mary Anne Gibson and Aldermen Rocky Janda and Forrest Owens voted in favor of the resolution.

Barzizza offered a motion to defer the matter so that board members could further research the resolution, which is in agreement with a position by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Anti-Defamation League.

However, that motion failed 3-2.

Approximately 270 mayors from across the country have pledged to implement the Mayors’ Compact to Combat Hate in an effort to “fight extremism and bigotry in America.”

The resolution states that the city “expressly rejects extremism, white supremacy and all forms of bigotry, and denounces all acts of hate wherever they occur.”

“The city of Germantown will work to ensure the public safety for all while protecting free speech and other basic constitutional rights and supports fully resourced law enforcement and civil rights investigations of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

The resolution concludes by stating that the city “supports the Mayors’ Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry and supports the Mayor’s effort to work with executive and legislative partners at federal and state levels to ensure that civil rights laws are aggressively enforced, existing hate crime laws are strengthened as needed and new laws are enacted to ensure that all hate crimes are prosecutable in their jurisdictions to the greatest extent possible.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland has also signed the compact.