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  • Mamaroneck Observer

Board of Trustees Condemn Racism

By Kathy Savolt -


After some reported incidents of racist comments made to attendees and would-be attendees of the cancelled January 30th special meeting of the Board of Trustees (BOT), individual members had things to say.


On Sunday, February 11th, Mayor Torres released a statement on social media that condemned “any racism within our community.”  She called such comments “unacceptable” and said she was “appalled.”  Torres, who is of Hispanic descent, recalled her family’s experience with racism and mentioned the “damage it caused” without going into detail.


See her full statement HERE.


At the February 12th BOT meeting, each of the four Trustees made their own comments, starting with Trustee Lou Young who “wholeheartedly” agreed with the Mayor.  Reading prepared remarks, Young recalled 2006 when there were incidents with day laborers congregating in the Village as they looked for work.  These incidents led to lawsuits and national media attention. Young called out the “intolerance” of that time and likened what happened on January 29th to that period in our history.  He called reported remarks “coarse, nasty, unkind, xenophobic and racist.”


Trustee Leilani Yizar-Reid read a prepared statement recognizing the many challenges we face as a Village but asked that we not forget the needs of our neighbors as we face those challenges.  She said that “racism in words or actions is unacceptable and immoral” and that everyone in our community deserves “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”


Trustee Manny Rawlings apologized for the poor planning and subsequent cancellation of the January 29th meeting.  He called for civility and asked that we all move forward together.


Trustee Nora Lucas mentioned that the BOT could not issue a joint statement without first having a public meeting and individual comments had to be made at a public meeting.  She, too, apologized for the chaos that ensued on January 29th and the lack of a safe space.  She said the BOT needed to do a better job creating a “space where people can come together.”


Torres concluded that the Board needed to do better, build on common ground, and she hoped that in the future, one statement from all members of the BOT would be possible.


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