Mayors unite against hate

Article image - Mayors unite against hate Dr Dvir Abramovich and Mayor Mary Delahunty signing the declaration.

Mayor of Glen Eira City Council in eastern Melbourne has become the first to sign up to a campaign urging mayors to stand against racial hatred.

Mayor Mary Delahunty signed up to the Anti-Defamation Commission’s (ADC) Mayors United Against Hate campaign, which publically states the need to fight bigotry at a grassroots level.

The ADC is a not-for-profit Jewish community organisation that aims to combat bigotry towards all religions and cultures and facilitate understanding and respect.

Mayor Delahunty commended the organisation for its ongoing work and said local government has a role to play.

The Mayor penned an open letter to all other local leaders, encouraging their support.

“As civic leaders we should be ready to set standards and live by those standards,” she said in the letter.

“This public declaration binds us together, shows our values and importantly it certifies that we refuse to be bystanders in the face of prejudice.

“I’m very proud to be the first signatory on this declaration, and I encourage every other civic leader in Australia to join the campaign.”

ADC Chairman Dr Dvir Abramovich said the campaign works on both a symbolic and pragmatic level by starting a conversation in the community and also letting community members know that local leaders will support them should they experience adversity.

Dr Abramovich said mayors wishing to get involved should contact the ADC.

“The ADC calls on mayors across the country to add their name to this far-reaching statement and to say in one voice that racism and discrimination are incompatible with our nation’s democratic and pluralistic values,” he said.

Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has also thrown his support behind the campaign and has pledged to take the declaration to a meeting of the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors in August.