A resolution dismissed in December as too political is headed back to the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors Friday with revisions.
And this time, it’s expected to pass.
Glen Sanders, who wrote the original resolution, and his supervisor, Chris Tague of Schoharie, have been working to address supervisors’ objections to “Working Toward Respect For All.”
Mr. Tague said the revised resolution has-again-made it through supervisors’ Rules and Legislation Committee, and like Mr. Sanders, said he thinks its chances of approval on this, the second try, are good.
Mr. Sanders introduced his original resolution after a racially-charged incident at Cobleskill-Richmondville High School, where days after the election of President Donald Trump, some students were bullied by chants of “build the wall,” and “send them back to Africa.”
That was followed by a New Year’s Day incident in Esperance that led to a 13-year-old being charged with spraying-painting swastikas on a traffic signs, businesses, and a church.
Mr. Tague said Friday that he tabled that resolution, rather than see it defeated.
And even though he voted for President Trump, he said he doesn't have a problem with Mr. Sanders’ message.
“I supported it the first time,” he said. “Not all of my colleagues did. I think the message is too important, especially after what’s happened locally and with what we see on the national news all the time.”
Mr. Sanders said there are a few important revisions to the resolution.
It’s less political-the paragraph that most alarmed supervisors has been replaced--the terms used are well-defined, and it stresses the need to follow up the resolution with action.
Mr. Sanders said that last point may be the most important.
“It’s important to make these things part of everyday conversation...to normalize that,” he said. “Tolerance, inclusion...Unfamiliar things seem dangerous. This makes them familiar.”
Mr. Sanders, who also worked with longtime activist Sue Spivack and other retired members of ACCORD on his revisions, points out that their effort isn't an isolated one.
Saratoga County is working on similar efforts and more than two dozen people at an Empower-Together meeting Saturday (see related story), are reaching out to their towns and villages, schools, churches, and community organizations, asking them to also sign on to the resolution before Friday's meeting.
A crowd is expected to attend Friday’s supervisors’ meeting for privilege of the floor, which will begin at about 9am, when the resolution will be introduced.
If the resolution passes, Mr. Sanders said the next step will be to ask Mr. Tague to ask County Treasurer Bill Cherry, who’s president of the New York Association of Counties, to take it there for adoption.
“It all starts local,” Mr. Sanders said. There are things we can do that affect our lives. There’s a lot of energy out there right now.
For his part, Mr. Tague said he feels it’s important to represent his constituents-even when they may disagree politically.
He’s also concerned, he said, about the message bullying and racial attacks are teaching children.
“As local leaders, we need to teach the younger folks that certain types of behavior are not acceptable,” he said. “That’s what I keep coming back to: How are we teaching our children?”