In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of the Minneapolis police, and the protests that have come in its wake, the Pelham Democratic Committee, write to Pelham Elected Officials calling for revolutionary racial justice in Pelham after hearing, stories of differential, racist treatment of persons of color in Pelham at the hands of Pelham police officers, teachers, school administrators, and fellow Pelham residents.
In the letter – dated June 25, 2020 – the Pelham Democratic Committee urged Village of Pelham Chance Mullen Mayor, Village of Pelham Manor Mayor Jennifer Monachino Lapey Mayor, Town of Pelham Supervisor Daniel McLaughlin Supervisor, Board of Education President Jessica DeDomenico President, and Superintendent of Schools Cheryl Champ to push the envelope further than you think is possible and to outline our own internal action items to further the cause of racial equality. As elected or appointed leaders in Pelham, the burden falls on all of us to fight for drastic overhaul in Pelham’s policing and schools, and to increase diversity in hiring, on local boards and governing bodies, including our own Committee.
The committee states, Pelhamites have been sharing stories on social media, with neighbors and friends, at recent rallies, and in a remarkable exhibit at the Pelham Art Center, “that should break all our hearts,” such as learning that North Pelham is referred to as Parlem; that school children have suffered slights and taunts from their peers that were dismissed by teachers and administrators; that some Pelham youth think nothing of using the N word in casual conversation; that Pelham police officers have referred to Pelham youth as thugs; that black and other minority students are disproportionately subject to school residency checks by police; that black and brown Pelhamites suffer slights, or worse, on a daily basis; that their black and brown neighbors in Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, and the Bronx, expect to be targeted by the police in Pelham, consider Pelham a racist town.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed an executive order that will require every police agency in New York to evaluate its policies on use of force, crowd management, bias training and citizens’ complaints, among other issues. To redesign the state’s more than 500 police forces by April 2021 or risk losing state funding.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday, June 13th, told protesters demanding racial justice in the wake of George Floyd’s death that “you won,” and pressed the state’s police and local governments to formulate a plan for “systemic reform” by April 1, 2021 — or else.
“If you don’t do it, local government, you won’t get any state funding. Period,” Cuomo said at his daily briefing. “You have to pass a law with your redesigned police force.”
He said each community had to come up with its own reforms. The Pelham Democratic Committee cites Cuomo’s executive order as one of the inspirations for this letter to Pelham elected officials.