Somerville Journal: School committee in support of immigrant campaign

School committee in support of immigrant campaign

By Auditi Guha, Somerville Journal

Supporters of Welcoming MA from the The Welcome Project, Centro Presente, and the Somerville Community Corporation with Somerville School Committee members moments before the historic vote. Somerville — The Somerville School Committee passed a resolution in support of the Welcoming MA campaign on Monday, June 22.

Ward 1 School Committee member Maureen Bastardi said she has been impressed with the work of the Welcome Project and Centro Presente on immigrant issues, and is proud to support their campaign. “I feel privileged to participate in it. It is straightforward and a very important campaign,” she said.

Welcoming MA is an initiative that seeks to affirm Massachusetts as a commonwealth that respects the dignity of all people and to create a more welcoming environment for immigrants. More than 2,000 people in Somerville have signed a petition in support of the campaign. They believe that it is urgent to take a moral stand on immigration policy and the humane treatment of immigrants.

Warren Goldstein-Gelb, director of the Welcome Project, said it is fitting that the School Committee should endorse the Welcoming Massachusetts pledge only days after Somerville was named an All-America City.

“Welcoming Massachusetts affirms both the best of our traditions and our aspirations. We move forward together as we have always been — [a] city of immigrants,” he said. “Nowhere is this more true than our schools. By endorsing this pledge, the School Committee is hearing and honoring the voices of the many cultures and traditions that make up our student population and our city as a whole.”

“We are very happy to know that the members of the School Committee passed this resolution in a very democratic way. They are supporting the principles of human rights, human dignity, inclusion and multiculturalism that have distinguished the city of Somerville. We hope that the Board of Aldermen will also support the campaign and continue making Somerville a more inclusive city,” said Patricia Montes, executive director of Centro Presente.

“Somerville has a long history of welcoming immigrants, so there is no reason that we shouldn’t continue to welcome them and make them part of our community,” said Janine Lotti, president of the Board of Directors of the Somerville Community Corporation.

Link to the orginal Somerville Journal story on