Dear Editor:

Below is a letter I have sent to Mayor Cerino and the Town Council in support of the proposed Human Rights Commission:

I am writing in support of the proposal drafted by Councilman Tolliver to establish the Human Rights Commission previously authorized by you. I write as a current member of the Board of Sumner Hall and a former member of the Board of the Historical Society of Kent County (though I speak only for myself). In both capacities I have spent many hours researching the history of African Americans in Kent County. I have some appreciation of how that sad and often tragic history may make some African Americans reluctant to file complaints and share experiences with governmental bodies that have not been altogether receptive in the past, regardless of their current attitude.

The draft ordnance provides the proposed Commission with the authorities and responsibilities it will need to build confidence in the communities you are trying to reach, without undermining in any way the ultimate authority and responsibility properly vested in you. I urge you to act soon to implement the bold initiative you took on September 8, 2020, to establish an effective Human Rights Commission to assist you in addressing ongoing issues of racism in Chestertown.


William H. Leary

Chestertown, MD 21620