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'Ben Hover'

Jun 19

Letter From Council President: Benjamin Hover

Posted to Newsletter Articles on June 19, 2020 at 12:36 PM by Linda Rooney

Lansdowne LogoDear Neighbors,


Quarantine News

Welcome to summer! This past spring in Lansdowne has been challenging for our community's residents and businesses with the numerous closures and changes required by quarantine procedures caused by the pandemic. As we move into the summer months, much of Lansdowne will be opening back up as we transition from the yellow phase to the green phase. 


Because of the restrictions, many of the hallmarks of Lansdowne life have been cancelled or restricted to few participants. While the Memorial Day parade was cancelled, Vice President Magda Byrne and I joined with American Legion Post 65 to honor the sacrifices made by local Lansdowne heroes.


Although we are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to transition to the Green phase soon, we encourage all residents to continue to take the necessary precautions to avoid exposure and possible spread of the COVID virus. As a Council, we are working on the plans to open our playgrounds, basketball courts, and tennis courts to offer more opportunities at recreation. All parks are open for walking, exploration with appropriate social distancing. Please continue to frequent the many restaurants that offer take-out and delivery food in Lansdowne.


Please read about changes from Phase Red to Phase Yellow here.


Confronting Racism

In the past few weeks, we, in the Borough of Lansdowne, have borne witness to instances of racial violence in many communities throughout our country. For many in our community, each death is a reminder of the pervasive racism that exists in our country and even in our communities. For others, the events evoke memories of events that have occurred to them or relatives in the Philadelphia area. 


On June 5th, Lansdowne Borough Council and Mayor Campuzano released a unanimous statement denouncing the death of George Floyd and our commitment to ensuring the rights of all residents in Lansdowne. 


Quite frankly, no child, no teenager, no adult should have an experience, a memory, or mistreatment based upon their race or color of their skin. We want to ensure that Lansdowne Borough works for all residents. Upon taking office, every member on Council swears to uphold the Pennsylvania Constitution. Article I, Section I of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania guarantees that all people "are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness." 

 

To support this commitment, the Mayor and Council will continue to work with our Police Chief to ensure the officers in the Lansdowne Police Department work with great professionalism, integrity, and commitment to the community of Lansdowne. The Lansdowne Police Department is committed to community policing, working with all sectors of the community to establish relationships with our faith communities, residents young and old, school children, and members of our business community. 


On Council, we will also be examining our programming through an ad hoc Committee comprised of Councilmember Wardell Holt, Councilmember Sinoe Naji-Taylor, and myself to ensure that Lansdowne Borough cultural events include all of the communities in Lansdowne. Please click here to read the full statement on recent protests.


On June 11th, Mayor Tony Campuzano, Chief Dan Donegan, Vice President Magda Byrne and I joined with officials from Yeadon Borough, the Yeadon Police Department, and the William Penn School District to announce our unified commitment to denounce the systemic racism that afflicts our communities and our unified commitment to advocate for policies that prioritize the safety of our residents, for resources for our communities, and to encourage the mutual bonds between our communities.


We are united in our fight against racial injustice and fighting for the resources in our neighborhoods, schools, parks, and programming. Please click here to read the full joint statement. 


Honoring our residents and our History

Earlier this month, Lansdowne Borough honored our commitment made in resolution last year that every June in Lansdowne LGBTQIA month by hoisting the Pride Flag on Borough Greene. We value all of our residents in Lansdowne and join in celebration with many in our community who cheered the recent Supreme Court case providing protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees from being fired, disciplined, or prevented from getting a job based upon sexual orientation


This Friday, June 19th, please join us as Lansdowne Borough honors Juneteenth for the first time in honor of Emancipation Day, the Second National Day of Independence. Last year, Governor Wolf signed into law, Act 9, which declares "Juneteenth National Freedom Day." Juneteenth recognizes the day in 1865, when enslaved African-Americans received news from the Union Army Galveston Texas, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, that they were free. 

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On Wednesday, June 17th, we passed the resolution, "Commemoration of Juneteenth as an Annual Celebration of Black Economic Liberation" and encourage any residents who would like to participate in planning next year's celebration to contact Council about participating on the Planning Committee. Read the Juneteenth Resolution here.

Public Service

The recent tragic events and protests that are occurring throughout our region have prompted in-depth conversations about how to improve our government--on the local, state, and Federal level. Every event is a reminder of the importance of building community, engagement in local government, and the necessity of speaking out against injustice. In Lansdowne, all of the decisions are made by your neighbors--all Councilmembers, Mayor Campuzano, and all of the members on Boards, Commissions, and Advisory Councils. We serve at your pleasure and for the benefit of Lansdowne. We need your voice and participation.


To any residents who wish to participate in discussions about Public Safety or provide ideas to contribute to the culture of Lansdowne, please attend meetings or join the Boards, Commissions, or Advisory Councils that contribute to the civic life in Lansdowne. If you would like to join, please let us know.

As always, if you would like to participate, ask a question, express a concern, please feel free to send an email: hoverb@lansdowneborough.com


Hope to see you in the Neighborhood,


Benjamin Hover

  Council President