Statement from El Cerrito Mayor Greg LymanSpoken at the El Cerrito City Council meeting on Dec 6, 2016: El Cerrito’s greatest strength is our diverse community. In fact, “Inclusiveness and Respect for Diversity” is one of El Cerrito’s core values as identified in our City Strategic Plan. This means that we endeavor to treat others with dignity and respect;to be sensitive to the needs, concerns, and opinions of others;to incorporate and promote inclusiveness and diversity within everything we do;to encourage an environment where all individual differences are valued, respected, and welcomed; and to demonstrate compassion to all people.Recently in our City, in neighboring communities, and throughout the country, we have been challenged by intolerance, bigotry, and in some cases criminal activity based on hate. Community members have expressed fear and anger at these actions, and we as a City Council share those concerns. El Cerrito resolves to remain vigilant in our mission to promote tolerance and respect between all people, and will continue to seek avenues to further this mission in harmony with members of our community. El Cerrito condemns the recent hate crimes in our area, including the horrific murder of local musician Will Sims in El Sobrante on November 12th. El Cerrito does not tolerate prejudice, bigotry, racism, hatred, or violence, and we encourage anyone who has experienced an act of hate to report it to the El Cerrito Police Department immediately, where it will be fully investigated. The City’s Human Relations Commission has been involved in seeking areas to engage the community to promote tolerance and to stop hate, and would welcome input on this and other topics that promote understanding and inclusiveness surrounding the ideals of Sanctuary City. I encourage the community to consider attending the next meeting of the Commission tomorrow, here in City Hall at 7:00 p.m., or at any of their meetings on the first Wednesday of each month. I call your attention to the upcoming MLK march and rally on January 16, where the entire City will celebrate the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that all of us will not be judged by the color of our skin but on the content of our character. Finally, on the consent calendar this evening, the City Council will consider a proclamation declaring December 10 “Human Rights Day” and December “Human Rights Month” in El Cerrito, asking all of us to reaffirm our humanity by standing up for human rights in all facets of our lives and make a public commitment to speak up for tolerance and against prejudice. In short, we of El Cerrito, residents and staff, commit ourselves to uphold our core value of “Inclusiveness and Respect for Diversity” by resolving to be welcoming, compassionate, and inclusive to all people, to promote love and to stop hate, to stand up for human rights, and to work diligently to ensure that every member of our community feels accepted and safe.