Lakewood Seeks to Reassure Immigrants: We Welcome All, Celebrate Our Diversity | The City of Lakewood, Ohio

Lakewood Seeks to Reassure Immigrants: We Welcome All, Celebrate Our Diversity

February 07, 2017

In the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration policy, the city of Lakewood is looking to reassure residents of our shared “commitment to hope, equality, tolerance, inclusion, and optimism.”

Earlier this month, Lakewood City Council unanimously passed a resolution to reinforce those values.

“This resolution puts all on notice that we will not consent to discrimination, registries, and targeting,” said Lakewood City Council President Sam O’Leary. “We renew our dedication to thoughtful public service and our belief that communities can be helpfully served by wise decisions and respectful deliberation. We will not allow society to be dragged backwards but instead rededicate ourselves to leading it forward.”

The city of Lakewood has been a home to immigrants since before its own inception. Immigrants have joined with the children, grandchildren, and great­ grandchildren of immigrants to build and create the Lakewood that we know today. In addition, Lakewood is also a city with a rich history of tolerance and a welcoming spirit for the LGBTQ community.

“I am committed to a thoughtful, strong, and effective response to policies that adversely affect the vibrant and inclusive neighborhoods of Lakewood,” said Lakewood Mayor Michael Summers.

“This city will protect all citizens regardless of race or creed. We will especially support those who might be singled out. Each of us has an obligation and — I fear — likely opportunities to assert inclusive behavior that welcomes all in the face of discriminatory attacks. By understanding that bullying behavior may be our experience, by anticipating it, we should prepare ourselves to speak up and defend our vulnerable neighbors.”

“I am resolved to have the courage and conviction to take thoughtful action.”

Mayor Summers recently met with members of the Cleveland chapter of Council on American–Islamic Relations as well as the leaders of the Turkish American Cultural Organization in Lakewood to affirm Lakewood’s support, and to find ways to improve communication and mutual understanding. Additional meetings are planned.

“The Lakewood of today is a city of Americans and Lakewoodites whose diverse backgrounds have enlivened our city life and contributed to the city’s unique character, and our shared experiences have instilled in Lakewood the values of empathy, compassion, toleration and understanding,” according to the resolution.

“We find our strength both in our common bonds and in our differences.”