Twenty community members from a variety of backgrounds spoke in support of the resolution at the meeting and more than 50 community members came to show their support, Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said.
Community members spoke to the council for an hour, discussing their fears and how this resolution may help ease them.
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Madison resident Luis Montoto spoke to the council regarding his experience of being pulled over by the police in McFarland. He said he was profiled by the police officer when he was asked if his ID was real.
Montoto said he was born and raised in Texas before coming to Wisconsin and is a U.S. citizen.
Montoto said he was profiled again when, in a visit with one of his senators at his own office, the senator called him an immigrant.
“He calls me an immigrant,” Montoto said. “Sitting in my office, with the American flag behind me and all the [Dallas] Cowboys stuff. It’s unfortunate that I have to say this, but it happens.”
Because of incidents like these, Montoto said Madison needs to send a message that they are an inclusive city.
Another Madison resident, Diego Campoverde, said he believes passing the resolution sends a strong message to immigrant communities and communities of color, seeing as how this is a time of “fear and uncertainty” for them.
Laura Minero, an undocumented Ph.D. student of counseling psychology at the University of Wisconsin, said passing the resolution sends a message that people like her are actually members of the community.
“We need to start by standing up and fighting for the rights of the people who contribute to your children, to your families — who service you,” Minero said.
Ald. Marsha Rummel, District 6, said the council received many requests after Trump was elected president for Madison to become a sanctuary city. The council does not have control of everything, she added, but there are ways they can make changes.
Working with the Dane County sheriff to get on the same page regarding immigration status is one way the council can work to achieve change, Rummel said.
There is a large amount of fear in communities across Madison, Ald. Samba Baldeh, District 17, said. Being an immigrant, he added, he understands these fear.
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Baldeh proposed an amendment to the resolution which would make city libraries designated safe spaces and replace the original wording, which only made one room in the City-County Building a safe space.
Initially, the council voted down the proposal.
After much debate, however, the council proposed an amendment which would create a safe space in both the City-Council Building as well as the libraries.
“What kind of world are we going to leave behind and what is our future going to look like?” Ald. Tim Gruber, District 11, said. “It’s really up to us right now to make that change, to make that difference, so that we have this welcoming and open, inclusive city that we desire.”