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Precinct 9 Town Meeting Member
With the support of neighbors and friends, I was elected on May 2nd, 2017 to a three-year term as a member of Brookline Town Meeting – a legislative body of citizen volunteers responsible for enacting town bylaws.
I was honored to be endorsed by progressive stalwart Brookline PAX and Brookline for Racial Justice & Equity, which seeks to dismantle structural racism and everyday prejudice. It's in that spirit of building a better and more socially just Brookline, that I represent the people of Brookline's Precinct 9.
As a college professor focused on identity and inclusion, I’ve brought a new perspective to Town Meeting. Like many, I’ve been concerned by the racial injustices that have taken place in our Town, and the seeming unwillingness by some in power to hold those responsible accountable. I’ll continue to caucus with other members to pressure our public servants to model equity, diversity and inclusion at every level of governance.
My first step was to challenge the process that brought about "Warrant Article 18." This seemingly innocuous article, which allows for lowered speed limits on specified roadways, has the potential to disproportionately impact drivers of color. Here's my speech at Town Meeting concerning this issue:
I also supported the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) article, which passed unanimously and now provides Brookline with a much-needed framework for addressing systemic institutional racism.
More recently, I spoke in favor of the Warrant Article to rename the Devotion School, which was named for a slaveholder. Here are my remarks:
I also continue to push for more accountability in diversifying our boards, committees and commissions, as I did at Town Meeting this year:
I welcome your comments and concerns. You can contact me here.
Dr. Raul Fernandez
Town Meeting Member, Precinct 9