INDEPENDENCE — The Independence City Council passed a resolution on July 25, declaring Independence an inclusive city.
The meeting was highly attended, with citizens ranging in age, race and profession. Some came to the podium to voice their opinions. Of the 11 citizens who spoke before the council, not one opposed the resolution.
Among the speakers was an undocumented immigrant who came to America to seek medical treatment.
“I am undocumented. I have no documentation and, even though this community is great, it’s always in the back of my head, the boogie man is always there, because who knows who might betray me and send me back?” said Juan Navarro. “I am a person that loves to help the community. I love it so much, and I’m blessed to graduate from Western, and I’m blessed to be the first one in my family to attend a master’s program this fall, but, like I said, I am not safe. I know I’m safe here (in Independence) but it’s not always the same.”
After the testimonies of the various citizens, the council had a brief discussion amongst themselves.
“As I understand it, this resolution doesn’t change anything. We will continue to be an inclusive city, as we have been. We will continue to follow the state laws and the federal laws. We’re just stating what we’re already doing and will continue to do,” said Councilor Michael Hicks.
“This describes things we already do,” agreed councilor Marilyn Morton. “The resolution puts kind of a bow on it and makes it visible, and makes the statement: ‘We are part of a group here, we are part of the group of people who live in Independence.’”
The resolution passed with a unanimous vote. For more information or to read the resolution: www.ci.independence.or.us.