Council affirms Moorhead is inclusive community

“We will not tolerate intolerance,” Moorhead city council member Mari Dailey said Monday night as she introduced a resolution to support inclusiveness, celebrate diversity and foster respect in the city.

Dailey said the resolution was an answer to the divisiveness in our community and country, and that we must stand together. A recently cancelled KKK rally and Somali Americans being harassed and attacked in the community encouraged Dailey and the council to take a stand against hate.

When Dailey composed the resolution, she noted racism and racial discrimination threaten human development because of the obstacles they pose to basic human rights of survival, security, development and social participation. The resolution encourages respect for everyone regardless of race, religion, gender identification, sexual orientation, age, ability or country of origin.

The resolution concluded with “this council of democratically elected representatives represent and support all members of the community; and condemn acts of hate, violence or discrimination.”

Hukun Abdullahi, executive director of the Afro American Development Association in Moorhead, told the council he was pleased they supported the resolution because of the rise in hate groups and crimes. He asked people to remember how important it is to help one another and to report crimes.

Council member Heidi Durand said the only way we can fight hate is to be united, calling prejudice and hate opportunistic elements that can take over if a community is in disarray. “The only way we can fight this is with unity,” she said. “We must respect all human life.”

People from many backgrounds and countries, who nearly filled Moorhead’s council chamber, applauded after the council unanimously supported the resolution.

In other action –

The council asked city engineer Bob Zimmerman to approach Burlington Northern with further requests concerning the closing of First Avenue South.

Durand reported the city will increase its water reserve from 180 to 225 days. She said the Federal Emergency Management Agency is likely to reimburse expenses from two Moorhead Public Service trucks and four employees helping restore power in Florida after the hurricane.

Chris Radi, who is the liaison between the city and Moorhead Community Access Media, was just named to the MCAM board.

MCAM carries Moorhead Spud football games live and streaming. Check its website for times.

Brenda Elmer, council member and chair of the Metropolitan Council of Governments, said Moorhead does not have a well-defined truck route that works with the FM regional freight plan. Moorhead will become part of the plan.

A nine-year, $750,000 tax break for the LOFT on the corner of 8th Street and Main Avenue was approved. Construction begins next month. Steve Gehrtz did not vote because of his involvement in the project.

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