Northfield ‘welcoming’ to all? 1 on council votes no

After about 100 residents in Northfield attended a meeting on Sunday to share concerns about perceived threats to the Latino community, the City Council on Tuesday went on the record with a resolution “affirming the city of Northfield’s commitment to be a safe, inclusive and welcoming community for all.”

It passed 6-to-1, Northfield News reports.


“I’ve never been in favor of resolutions that carry no weight to them, and I think this is one that carries no weight at all,” Councilor David Ludescher said. “In fact, I think it’s one to further the divisiveness of the community.”

“The community gathered to talk about what’s going to be happening with [Donald] Trump as president-elect,” said one of the organizers and speakers Marlene Rojas. “There were so many concerns in the community about kids being bullied in the schools and also adults in the workplace.”

Rojas went on to describe a few specific stories brought forward by community members.

“One of the testimonies… this man works at a local business, and one of the clients came in and told him ‘he better pack his suitcase because you’re going to be deported soon,'” she recalled.

“Another man shared that some co-workers showed him videos of people burning the Mexican flag,” she went on. “The same man’s son came home crying and said he doesn’t want to go back to school, because some kids told him he is going to get deported.”

Northfield School District Superintendent Matt Hillmann was on hand to express his support for the community, saying that he will be working hard to ensure discrimination does not take place in the schools.

“There are a lot of reasons you might believe this is a hollow statement or just symbolic, but it is a statement backed by the chief of police and will give us an incredible feeling of relief,” said Arique Aguilar, one of the community members who attended Sunday’s meeting.

Related: Rallying around respect: Group of Bemidji residents prepare statement to promote unity (Bemidji Pioneer)