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A Message from the Mayor

 This has been amplified by the recent tragic and truly unnecessary deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, which are just a couple very recent high profile examples. Recognizing the existence of bias based upon an individual’s race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental challenge is the first step in a long journey that will be necessary to end such bias once and for all. The march and rally here in Denville and those occurring all around our country are among the first collective steps in this journey.

 

Many of the first settlers to come to the “new world” arrived to escape religious persecution or other forms of oppression themselves. When the colonists founded the United States, they did so on the principal that all men are created equal. Unfortunately, the fulfillment of that promise has been too long in coming for so many Americans. From Day One, our Nation has been flawed and we need to continually strive for a greater union, because it is out there. American history has shown a sometimes all too slow fight for equality on so many fronts. Some tragic and truly unjust examples include the Trail of Tears and other atrocities committed against Native Americans, the Japanese Internment Camps During World War II, the long inequality faced by women ending in the Women’s Suffrage movement and undoubtedly the greatest injustice of all in our nation’s history, slavery.

 

In my lifetime alone, I have seen great changes in society and in people’s attitudes.  Unfortunately, our country still has a long way to go. Recent events in Minneapolis where Police Officers killed a handcuffed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds is horrible and those offices should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Their actions tarnish the reputations of the good and honorable Police Officers that deserve our respect.  Conversely, I fully support peaceful assembly when there are injustices and the peaceful protesters exercising their constitutional rights should also not be tarnished by those opportunist-criminals who have engaged in rioting and looting during the otherwise generally peaceful gatherings.

 

We are all very privileged to live in not only the United States but in Township of Denville where the people are warm and friendly and where we have a highly trained and highly professional Police Department to serve and protect the public. I have also found Denville to be a welcoming, inclusive and stigma-free community, regardless of a person’s race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, physical and mental challenges.  In preparation for my speech during the recent National Day of Prayer, I found that every major religion has their own version of the Golden Rule “Do onto others as they would have done onto you.”

 

We have no room for hate or bias in Denville

-and-

We love and respect our Denville Police Officers

 

However, we also not blind to the fact that racism still exists. For this reason, I am listening and will do what I can to be an agent for education and an agent for change.

 

If you plan on exercising your Constitutional rights of Assembly and Speech on Monday, June 8th, please do so peaceably. This way, you can ensure that your voices are heard and all return home safely.  

 

Tom Andes

Mayor