City Resolution Apologizes for Past Discrimination

The City Council voted this week to approve a resolution apologizing for racist “sundown town” policies in Burbank’s history and pledging to pursue local, state and federal measures that promote equity.
A sundown town is defined as a city whose practices discriminate against non-white ethnic groups, particularly Black people, such as by requiring them to exit city boundaries by sundown.
The resolution itself contained no concrete policies aimed at combating racism, and there was little discussion from the council on the item during its Tuesday meeting, but city officials have hailed it as a critical first step that could later lead to action.
“It’s OK to go wrong, but it’s not OK to stay wrong,” said Councilman Jess Talamantes. “And this is one thing that we can change, this council and future councils can definitely change, moving forward.”

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City Signals Support for Condemning Past Racism

Mayor Sharon Springer holds a proclamation, issued Tuesday, it denouncing all forms of prejudice and committing Burbank to the pursuit of equality and diversity.

After issuing a proclamation denouncing prejudice, the Burbank City Council indicated its support for a nonprofit organization’s recommendation that the panel formally acknowledge and apologize for racist aspects of the city’s history.
Early in the council’s Tuesday meeting, Mayor Sharon Springer presented a proclamation condemning “all forms of prejudices” and embracing “inclusivity, equality and diversity.” The decree also affirmed Burbank’s commitment to promoting equity and diversity in city programs and services, though it did not announce any new initiatives.
But what could be new, if council members approve, is a formal recognition and apology from Burbank for its previous “sundown town” policies that discouraged people of color, particularly African-Americans, from living in the city.

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Council to Consider Resolution Over City’s Past Racism

In what may be a significant step to promote healing from racist practices in the community’s past, the City Council plans to consider a resolution on Tuesday formally acknowledging and apologizing for what made Glendale a reputed “sundown town” decades ago.
The proposed resolution comes months after city officials faced a strong demand from residents to shine a light on those past practices, amid the broader national conversations about how racial discrimination has festered or persisted even after laws forbade its practice. The staff report on the resolution includes references to such phenomena as Black homebuyers being frozen out of various neighborhoods, the “sundown town” practice through which Black employees would face threats if they remained within city limits after work hours, and the general atmosphere of a city that was the home of some Ku Klux Klan leaders and an American Nazi Party branch.

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