Text of Mayor Lovely Warren's Speech on January 29, 2017
I wish we didn’t have to come here so often to Washington Square Park to do these protests, but we know that here in Rochester we stand up for justice, we stand up for equality, we stand up for our children, we stand up for our brothers and sisters, and we have been doing this since the days of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony.
As your mayor, I cannot be more proud to stand up with you today. In just a little over a week, so much has changed in our country. As an African American woman, I know what discrimination and hate look like. As a child of an immigrant, I know that neither has a place in the American dream that we all fight for. I am proud to be the mayor of a sanctuary city, that believe like I do that all of our citizens are entitled to be treated fairly and equally regardless of who they are or who they love. This is where I chose to live because this is how we treat our neighbors.
Last week the President of the United States tried to bully this city and cities all over our country for being sanctuary cities. Let me make it very, very clear to you: we will not be bullied!
Look at where we are right now. We stand under the watchful eye of President Abraham Lincoln. There he sits at the top of a memorial to the Civil War [inaudible]… a path full of heartbreaks, setbacks and difficulty along the way, but as a nation we have persevered… but since 1865 we have made great progress along that path [inaudible]… but we have a long way to go. And I don’t know about you, but I refuse to go back. I refuse to go back to that time!
We need to do what we do best. We need to use our greatest strength: our diversity; to come together and to stand up for one another. We need to stand up for our Muslim neighbors and brothers and sisters. We need to stand up with our Christian, Jewish, refugees, Black, White, Latino, Asian, gay, straight and transgender communities. We need to organize, and we need to do it from a moral high ground. The First Lady, Michelle Obama, alluded to this, and that moral high ground is a place of love, [inaudible]… because as Dr. King told us, many years ago, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” God bless you all for taking a stand to drive out hate here in Rochester.
Thank you for showing the world that here in Rochester, New York, we still carry out the work of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony because we are here in a city where love trumps hate and love will continue to trump hate. And we will not be bullied!