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American Leaders Against Hate and Anti-Muslim Bigotry Campaign

This year, Local Progress and the Young Elected Officials Action Network (YEO Action) partnered hand-in-hand with our constituents – including many from the Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities – to speak out and fight back against anti-Muslim bigotry, and the related xenophobia, racism, and hate that surrounds it. We believe progressive leaders must stand together to reject it and denounce anti-Muslim bigotry.

Hate crimes have spiked drastically since the 2016 presidential election. Xenophobic and racist rhetoric, as well as calls for horrendous public policies based on religious discrimination are very much a reality. Now, more than ever, it is important to stand up against hate in our communities.

On Novmeber 17, we partnered with ReThink Media to put together a webinar specifically designed to assist local elected officials with messaging and best practices for pushing back against anti-Muslim bigotry. Drawing upon the findings of ReThink Media’s recent in-depth round of message testing and polling analysis regarding Muslims and Islam, this webinar aimed to help elected leaders and their staff who are countering anti-Muslim bigotry to think through the most effective ways of framing their language and approach when talking about this issue. Please let us know if you are interested in learning more about this work by emailing tdunlop@populardemocracy.org

More than 500 elected officials signed on to our open letter against hate and now communities are passing resolutions against hate and anti-Muslim bigotry as the second phase of the campaign. Currently we have 45 jurisdictions that have introduced or are introducing resolutions at both city council and school board levels. Will you join them?

Resolutions passed in City Councils: Tucson, AZ; City of Cudahy, CA; Culver City, CA; Oakland, CA; Richmond, CA; San Francisco, CA; West Hollywood, CA; Washington, DC; Miami, FL; Chicago, IL; Indianapolis, IN; New Orleans, LA; Cambridge, MA; Springfield, MA; Baltimore, MD; Montgomery County, MD; Portland, ME; Minneapolis, MN; Kansas City, MO; St. Louis City, MO; Durham, NC; Greensboro, NC; The County of Union, NJ; New York, NY; Village of Ossining, NY; Rochester, NY; Bowling Green, OH; Columbus, OH; Borough of Dormont, PA; Philadelphia, PA; City of Bolivar, TN; Austin, TX; Tacoma, WA, and Tukwila, WA
Resolutions passed in School Districts:  Creighton Elementary School District, AZ; Osborne School District, AZ; Tolleson Unified School District, AZ; Anaheim Unified High School District, CA; Franklin-McKinney School Board, CA; Garvey School District, CA; Lynnwood Unified School District, CA; Santa Clara County Board of Education, CA; Vallejo School Board, CA; Lovington Municipal School District, NM; Rochester City School District, NY; Metro Nashville Public School Board, TN

We also have several members who are authoring op-eds to publish in local papers on behalf of the campaign. Here is an op-ed from County Legislator William Reinhardt in Albany County, NY and another from Councilmember Abdi Warsame in Minneapolis, MN. Members have gotten great local press coverage in Columbus, OH, Austin, TX , New Orleans, LA, and Illinois, and a story in The Nation recently highlighted the campaign.

How Can You Get Involved?

  1. Sign this letter and pledge to stand up against anti-Muslim bigotry and other forms of hate. We released it with 545 signatures in September.
  2. Spread the word and invite your colleagues to sign the letter too. In this sign-up form you can identify prospects and we will follow up with them.
  3. Hold an event, or write an op-ed, with community or faith leaders in your cities talking about these issues and partnering with them in this effort.
  4. Pass a resolution through your council or school board standing up against anti-Muslim bigotry and hate. We’ll provide you with templates and language that you can adapt to your specific community and circumstances. Additionally, for those interested, we will elevate your voices through our press and social media outlets.
  5. Consider potential policies that may be useful and appropriate for your community. Please see our school district recommendations and our city and county recommendations for more information.

What Are Our Goals in Doing This Work?

  1. We want Local Progress and YEO Action Network members to begin building and strengthening genuine relationships with the Muslim, Arab, and South Asian (MASA) communities in your cities.
  2. We want to show support for policies that reflect our best American ideals, in the form of resolutions and initiatives across the country.
  3. We want Local Progress and YEO Action Network members to stand up publicly, together, to reject bigotry. In doing so, we will show solidarity with MASA communities across the country.
  4. We want to build our networks as communities of leading elected officials across the country who can partner together to advance causes that we believe in. We hope to use this campaign as a model we can replicate for other issues going forward that our members prioritize.

Fighting hate and promoting inclusion and respect should be a part of all of our work, permanently. But today, too many people in our nation are targeted, profiled, and discriminated against because of their religious background, race, and a host of other identities they have or are perceived to have. It’s devastating and it needs to stop. We hope you’ll join us.

Download this information as a pdf: American Leaders Against Hate and Anti-Muslim Bigotry One Pager

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