Kennett Twp. looks for racist policies

The Kennett Township supervisors will consider a resolution at their meeting Wednesday to determine if any racist policies exist in the township, among other things.

If approved, the resolution would create an advisory group to guide the supervisors about racial injustice, prompt a review of all township policies to ensure they are antiracist, allow for a closer examination of any policies that fail, allow for annual diversity training focused on confronting direct and indirect racism, and provide tools and resources in the township police department "to enhance emergency service delivery in times of crisis for all persons."

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. on the Zoom app. A copy of the resolution and the meeting agenda can be found online at Kennett.pa.us.

"Thank you to everyone who shared feedback regarding the proposed resolution addressing Black lives from a few weeks ago," township Manager Eden Ratliff said in a press release issued Monday. "We encourage your continued participation in this matter as your feedback informs the decisions of your local government."

The resolution was discussed at the Aug. 19 meeting, where supervisors' Chairman Richard Leff explained some of the board's reasoning.

"Many have written to us in support of this resolution, saying it's long overdue," Leff said. "Some have written to us saying it's a waste of time. For those who say there's no evidence of racism in our township, I say there's no reason not to react proactively.

"Can you put yourself in the place of a person of color living in our township? … Can we all not recognize the historical sanctioned mistreatment of Black lives in our country? Black lives matter. I will keep saying it until Blacks and others are afforded the same rights that I am."

Kennett Township resident Anton Andrew, running for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, called racism a human rights issue. He said he supported the resolution "because it acknowledges that Kennett, like any other municipality, has work to do to identify racism. I hope this is a model for every other municipality."

About Monica Fragale

Monica Thompson Fragale is a freelance reporter who spent her life dreaming of being in the newspaper business. That dream came true after college when she started working at The Kennett Paper and, years later The Reporter newspaper in Lansdale and other dailies. She turned to non-profit work after her first daughter was born and spent the next 13 years in that field. But while you can take the girl out of journalism, you can’t take journalism out of the girl. Offers to freelance sparked the writing bug again started her fingers happily tapping away on the keyboard. Monica lives with her husband and two children in Kennett Square.

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