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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City Plans Racial Reckoning; Panel Discussion July 30

Glendale officials plan to continue researching specific past actions that contributed to a local culture that discriminated against black residents and workers, as part of a long-term reckoning with the city’s former reputation as a sundown town.
The pledge comes after administration officials joined in a variety of outreach sessions with local civic and cultural groups to plot a course to promote racial equity in city government and healing from past practices that excluded minorities from the community. The next step of this process will be a panel discussion hosted by the city on Thursday, July 30, titled “Racism: Past and Present.” In preparation, city employees are diving into the city’s history.
Meanwhile, the city plans to join a regional coalition that works to promote racial equity practices, but City Council members — at the urging of local residents — pumped the brakes Tuesday on adopting a formal resolution acknowledging the past for now.
“Our staff is working on looking through our [past] ordinances at this time and our library staff is working on going through whatever they have in their archives of articles and whatnot and other resources we can go through,” Christine Powers, a senior executive analyst for the city, said at the council’s meeting.

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