Arlington Human Rights Commission Minutes

Date: Wednesday June 16, 2021 Time: 8:00 PM 9:00 PM Location: Conducted by Remote Participation

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Attendees: Co-Chairs Pusey and Jolin, Commissioners Soneja, Bauer, Grossman, Minton, Haynes, Carey, Rogers

Absent: Commissioners Horowitz, Brown, Carney

DEI Office: Jillian Harvey, Christina Coleman

Meeting called to order at 8:00 pm by Co-chair Pusey Land acknowledgement by Co-chair Jolin


1. Remote Meeting Notice and Land Acknowledgement (5 min) 2. Review of Minutes (5 min) a. May monthly meeting minutes i. Motion to approve minutes by Commissioner Minton and seconded by Commissioner Carey Passed with abstentions from Commissioner Haynes and Bauer b. May adhoc meeting minutes i. Motion to approve minutes by Commissioner Minton and seconded by Commissioner Rogers Passed with abstentions from Commissioner Haynes, Rogers, and Bauer c. June adhoc meeting minutes i. Motion to approve minutes by Commissioner Minton and seconded by Commissioner Rogers Passed with abstentions from Commissioner Carey, and Bauer 3. Review of Apr. Community Input (1 min) a. No input to review 4. Co-chair Report (10 min) a. Meetings i. Co-chair meeting focused on Pride celebrations at the crosswalk in Arlington Center

Chief of Police meeting: 1. September gun buyback program volunteers needed 2. Independent review report involving incident at Alewife Brook Parkway was sent to Commissioners for review a. Report redacted for privacy b. Disciplinary actions cannot be discussed due to collective bargaining agreements 3. ABLE project APD interested in participating in active bystander training for police officers via Georgetown University 3 letters of support needed for APD to participate. Chief Flaherty asks the AHRC to write one of the letters of support a. Intent is to train all 59 APD officers b. Chief Flaherty was asked to leave the meeting for commission to discuss request for letter of support c. Commission Discussion:

i. Letters of support are being asked of groups in town with a good relationship with police, should the department ask groups that have differing or opposing views of the police?

ii. Training is not evidence based, it is new and has no published success rates

iii. AHRC should support this initiative in order to promote and support police reform

iv. Involvement in a new initiative allows the AHRC and the APD to be involved at the ground floor of such trainings

v. This training potentially eliminates the “I didn’t know what to do” excuse

vi. Motion to write and expedite approval of the letter of support for participation of the APD in the ABLE program by Commissioner Rogers, seconded by Commissioner Minton passed with unanimous vote

b. Friends of Robbins Library annual meeting Spring 2022

Gwen Wong reached out to Commissioner Soneja to highlight the work done by the AHRC at the annual library meeting

Will include interviews and description of work done over the past year

More information will be provided at a later date

5. Working Group Q&A (20 min) a. Schools and Education


Minutes will be provided to commission prior to the next meeting New superintendent and DEI director will be invited to meet with the working group in the coming months

Outreach i. Group working to translate town pamphlets Spanish and Chinese complete ii. Town survey data will be analyzed and presented at the AHRC retreat Communications

Did not meet



Did not meet

Exit memo to be provided to commission prior to next meeting Commissioner Haynes to step down as the lead after this month Standards and practices memo requires drafting

IPD planning (multiple working groups)

Commissioner Soneja’s report on UAINE meeting will be provided to commission prior to next meeting Introductory meeting to commemorate IPD with individuals from neighboring towns

6. MAHRC Commissioner Bauer (5 min)

a. Attended by all MA HRC’s excluding Boston and Cambridge b. Other commissions interested in developing a relationship with their local police departments to attend meeting and report incidents to commissions 7. Chiefs Advisory Council Commissioner Grossman (5 min) a. Potential to have training by the Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) b. Improvements implemented for complaint process which may see an increase in reporting due to better visibility c. Mugar Woods has been home to a tent city goal is to get folks in shelters; i. Arlington PD officers and mental health professionals from the Somerville homeless Coalition visit regularly due to reported overdoses and fires area will be dismantled due to increased police and fire demands and general safety concerns 8. Civilian Review Board Exploratory Committee Commissioner Rogers (5 min) a. Committee is working to collect data from neighboring towns 9. DEI Division Updates (10 min) a. Remote meetings extended to April 2022 b. Juneteenth event will be held on Saturday at 930am at town hall 10. Statements (20 min) a. Human Rights Discussion Palestine/Israel i. Motion to accept Draft 7 made by Commissioner Minton and seconded by Commissioner Rogers 1. Discussion to include resources to educate 2. Israeli government has now changed hands, old resources my not be relevant 3. Resources may be difficult to include if biased ii. Motion to amend Draft 7 by removing last sentence and resource list by Commissioner Minton and seconded by Commissioner Rogers passed with abstention from Commissioner Soneja 11. Community Input (15 min) a. none 12. Incidents (10 min) a. May/June updates i. Several reports of vandalism in port-a-potties around town ii. APD contacted company to remove b. Discuss role of Social Media i. Commission is not responsible for monitoring social media platforms for issues ii. Commissioners to provide information about the AHRC if made aware of incidents iii. Suggestions to include AHRC complaint process to the September retreat make process more streamlined with relevant information requested iv. Suggestion to create a FAQ outreach to consider 13. Announcements (5 min) a. Intern status i. Commissioner Jolin to send Commissioner Grossman intern form b. Coffee Chats i. May Coffee Chat Update (Jolin/Haynes) 1. Housing authority updates given to commissioners by 1 member of the community ii. June Coffee Chat (Brown/Minton) iii. July Coffee Chat (Minton/Grossman) c. Incident Handling i. June - Grossman ii. July Brown

Motion to adjourn by Commissioner Soneja, seconded by Commissioner Grossman passed unanimously

Next meeting: July 21, 2021, 8:00 pm, Remote Participation.

Anyone needing accessibility information or other assistance to attend this meeting should contact Jillian Harvey, This meeting is open to all interested individuals.