The Park Slope Civic Council is over a hundred years old, but that hasn’t stopped the organization from re-thinking, re-exploring, and debating.
At their meeting on February 2, the council trustees passed a resolution which affirms their support of New York City’s sanctuary city status.
SJ Avery, co-chair of PSCC’s Forth on Fourth Avenue Committee and Trustee-at-Large, submitted the resolution for consideration. “Given our discussions about our mission and community at large, I thought that it was timely for us to reiterate our support for that law,” she told Brooklyn Pulp.
The resolution was passed with no “ney” votes and three abstentions:
“Whereas the Park Slope Civic Council publicly states that our mission affirms our intent to nurture, defend, celebrate and invigorate this community we call home, be it resolved that The Park Slope Civic Council fully endorses and supports the current designation of New York City as a Sanctuary City.”
The term sanctuary city doesn’t have a formal definition, however, “it generally refers to jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal immigration officials.”
City mayors and politicians throughout the country have responded to an executive order by President Donald Trump which could cut off federal funding to sanctuary cities.
“The stroke of a pen in Washington does not change the people of New York City or our values,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said last month. The order “does not change how this city protects our people.”
“We are a neighborhood civic association and advocacy group,” said Board President Judith Lief. “We thought that it was really important to support this for our neighbors, friends, and family.”
Avery described the meeting as a “spirited discussion” and said that debate over these issues are “a healthy thing for civic organizations to go through.”
“We consider ourselves not a partisan or political organization,” added Lief. “We focus on what is specific to our community. There was some dissent [over passing the resolution]. Some people felt that it was too political.”
“It’s not a rebuff to a politician,” Avery explained. “It’s an affirmation of a New York City law that is very much aligned with our goals.”
The role of sanctuary cities may very well be an extremely potent topic for the coming months and years.
“The spirit of this executive order runs contrary to our character and our values as a city,” said de Blasio. “We will not deport law-abiding New Yorkers. We will not tear families apart.”