Dear Residents and Leaders of Boston’s South Shore Communities: We are writing today regarding an incident that occurred in one of our member communities, Scituate, relating to the Scituate Public Schools Director of Diversity, Education and Inclusion, Mr. jamele adams. A makeshift tombstone with Mr. adam’s misspelled name and “in loving memory” on it was photographed at Museum Beach. The Scituate Public Schools and Select Board have already made a statement, as has Scituate Together for Representation, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (STRIDE). We want to collectively echo their strong condemnations of this unacceptable and vile act and express our support and solidarity for Mr. adams and the work he is doing in the Scituate community, as well as for all those who may feel threatened or unsafe as a result of this incident. We affirm our respect, compassion, and acceptance for all people as we continue to celebrate diversity of backgrounds and identities. Together, we will continue to pursue our commitment to ensuring our communities are places where everyone feels safe and welcome. The South Shore Unity Council is made up of various civic and municipal-level organizations that are deeply dedicated to the principle that every single person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect no matter who they are or where they come from. We invite others to join our efforts; please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Respectfully, Abington for Social Progress, Inclusion, Representation, and Equity (ASPIRE) Cohasset Diversity Committee Duxbury for All Hanover Unity Council Hanover Pride Hingham Pride Project Hingham Unity Council Hull No Place for Hate Scituate Together for Representation, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (STRIDE) Trans/Parent Support Group of the South Shore UPlift Pembroke Weymouth for Inclusion, Solidarity and Equity (WISE) Weymouth Pride Project
We wish to affirm our respect, compassion, and acceptance for all people as we continue to celebrate diversity of backgrounds and identities. We maintain our commitment to making sure our local community is a place where everyone feels safe and welcome, including all of our children, no matter how they identify.
There’s a lot of information out there coming from a lot of directions and it’s quite a bit to process! These issues are important for our community, however, so the Hingham Unity Council board has discussed the items on this years’ Town Meeting warrant that intersect with our mission and values – to foster a more diverse and inclusive community – and how they affect our Town. We wanted to share our thoughts with you. The SparkNotes version: We are voting Yes on Article 6- The Override We are voting Yes on Article 25 – Single Use Water Bottles We are voting Yes on the Alternate Motion to Article 29 – Accessory Dwelling Units. This motion will be brought by Planning Board Chair Judy Sneath on the floor of Town Meeting. Article 6: The Override This was a tough conversation for us and required some thought and work, because we acknowledge an inherent conflict between raising taxes and supporting a more diverse and inclusive Hingham: a more expensive Hingham is not accessible to all. However, we trust our elected and appointed officials, and the override has the full support of our Select Board and our Advisory Committee, who volunteer hours of their time in tireless service to our Town and have examined this budget closely. We are aware this was not an easy decision for any of them either – no one wants to raise taxes and they all live here too! A lot of work and thought went into presenting a budget they feel best serves our entire community. When we carefully examine the cuts that would need to be made if this override is not passed, we fear the burden of these cuts will largely be borne by lower income residents, and this burden outweighs the cost of a tax increase which for some residents, can be mitigated through tax abatement programs offered by the town. We note these will [Read More ->]
Dear Members of the Advisory Committee: I am writing on behalf of the Hingham Unity Council (the “HUC”) regarding the proposed changes to the Town’s ADU by-law. The HUC supports the removal of the familial restriction on these rentals as originally proposed by the ADU Study Committee appointed by Hingham Town Meeting. We have attended all of the Planning Board’s public hearings on this proposal and have yet to hear any fact-based explanation for retaining this restriction. If anything, we heard only additional data supporting its removal. We believe the strongest arguments in support are: Housing diversity/affordability. Goal 4 of Hingham’s Master Plan and the Hingham Housing Plan both emphasize the urgency of diversifying our Town’s housing inventory, especially as our overall population is aging, with a national trend toward solo aging. Page 90 of the Housing Plan states: “The recent adoption of the ADU bylaw is a good start and certainly a step in the right direction. However, restricting occupancy to family members largely sidesteps one of the primary purposes and benefits of such units - to provide homeowners with additional income that is particularly important for elderly homeowners, single parents, and others who are spending too much of their income on housing and for whom such income may be critical to remaining in their homes.” The report goes on to list numerous benefits of these units for increasing housing diversity. Exploration of expanding the potential of these units as a housing option was labeled a “short-term” goal in that report. Data presented by the HAHT during the Planning Board hearings demonstrates that these units are likely to be more affordable than currently available inventory. Positive experience of other communities. The ADU Study Committee’s extensive data and research shows that many of our benchmark communities already allow ADUs with no family restriction. Page 15 of [Read More ->]
The HUC stands in solidarity with our Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) community on the South Shore, in Monterey Park, and everywhere. You belong here, and you are not alone. We hope everyone will join us as we continue to work to dismantle the structures and conditions in our society that perpetuate harassment, violence, and hate against individuals of any race, gender, class, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or national origin.
Today, the letter below is being sent by all of the SSUC partner organizations (which includes HUC) to their town leaders and community members. We wanted to share it with you as well. Dear Residents and Leaders of Boston’s South Shore Communities, We are writing to introduce ourselves to you as organizations that are deeply dedicated to the principle that every single person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect no matter who they are or where they come from. In 2019, we came together to form a coalition called the South Shore Unity Council. Through programming, events, and other community initiatives, we seek to bridge differences in experience and perspective in order to build a culture that respects and values the individuality and humanity of every individual. We will not stand quietly by in the face of disrespect or mistreatment of our neighbors based on race, sexual orientation, gender, religious affiliation, disability or any other reason. We condemn recent acts of racism and anti-Semitism, actions targeting the LGBQTIA+ community, Muslims, and others, as well as the dissemination of white supremacist propaganda in our communities. We stand with our neighbors of diverse backgrounds and are committed to ensuring our diverse communities are welcoming and safe for all. No town, no matter how filled with kind and well-meaning people it may be, is entirely free of bigotry. We can all strive to do better. If you have not already, we strongly encourage you to reach out to work with us in your town. We also hope you will collaborate with leaders and groups in neighboring towns and discover how they are working with their particular South Shore Unity Council partners to foster a community where every citizen feels valued and supported. Respectfully, The South Shore Unity Council: Cohasset Diversity Committee Cohasset Pride Project Duxbury for All [Read More ->]
We stand with all citizens of Pembroke who feel unseen and unheard as a result of the decision to dissolve your town’s DEI committee. We hope that you will reconsider the value of making a municipal-level commitment to ensuring that all members of your community feel they are supported and valued.
The HUC stands with all those affected by incidents of bigotry, racism or intolerance, including members of our BIPOC, LGBQTIA+, and religious communities, as well as persons who experience discrimination based on gender, disability or neurodiversity. If you are a member of one of these groups and you live, study, work or worship in our town, please know that you are not alone.
As part of the celebration of Juneteenth in Hingham this year, the Hingham Unity Council is inviting all students who live and/or attend school in Hingham to participate in a competition where they can express the importance of celebrating the holiday and what Juneteenth means to the community through a work of visual or performance art, an essay or other written work. Students in grades K- 12 are invited to submit an essay, poem, a piece of visual art (drawing, painting, sculpture - any medium of expression is welcome!), a video or original song or other performance to the Juneteenth committee.
We have already heard from many who are deeply upset over this news and asking what they can do. We do not believe action can wait until November. We must force lawmakers to secure reproductive freedom immediately and this will only be accomplished through mass mobilization and sustained action in our streets and communities. Every major step towards justice in this country– from the Civil Rights Act to the original Roe decision– has required direct civil action.