Supporters to re-affirm Chelsea anti-discrimination proclamation for MLK Day
A nearly year-old anti-discrimination proclamation signed by city and community leaders in Chelsea will be the focus of a re-affirmation ceremony Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Supporters say the ceremony is meant to draw positive attention to a changing community and more awareness of the mostly unheralded proclamation.
"We're becoming a destination community and maybe not everybody knows that Chelsea can be a very welcoming place and the majority of its citizens want it to be a welcoming place," said Joanne Ladio, one of the event's organizers. "It's not the homogeneous community that it's been in the past and we hope that it keeps changing."
The Chelsea Area Communities Proclamation Position on Equality & Human Rights was signed in February 2012 by leaders including Mayor Jason Lindauer, Police Chief Ed Toth, former schools Superintendent David K. Killips and Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton. It recognizes the Chelsea area communities as "progressive communities that recognize the fundamental equality of all individuals" and "do not tolerate prejudicial or discriminatory treatment of any person, whether a resident or visitor in our communities."
Supporters plan to re-affirm the proclamation Monday at 7 p.m. in the council meeting room at the new Chelsea Police Department building at 311 S. Main St. The room will open at 6:30 p.m. for residents to sign a copy of the proclamation, which supporters plan to frame and present to the city.
Civic and community leaders are invited to attend and say a few words before the proclamation is read aloud, and a book will be available for people to sign in support. Other events planned are readings of quotes attributed to the fallen civil rights leader and live music.
Ladio said she and other supporters wanted to make sure the city's tradition of marking MLK Day did not come to an end. A Facebook page she and other supporters created in support of the proclamation has amassed more than 100 Likes since it was created less than two weeks ago.
"It sort of came out quietly, and those of us who feel very strongly that Chelsea needs to be a diverse community and certainly doesn't need to discriminate felt it was time to make it more visible," she said of the document.
Contact freelancer Sven Gustafson at sventg123(at)gmail(dot)com, or follow him on Twitter.