Wisdom says we should color within the lines. Rhetoric relies on being the loudest voice in the room. There comes a time when both must be abandoned, modified and shifted in order for justice to prevail. For that to happen, old ways of solving problems are required to step aside for innovation, especially when the system fails to meet the needs of the vulnerable.

Monday night I will call for a vote on an ordinance to be adapted that will establish the Human Rights Commission of Chestertown, in the spirit of the Human Rights Commission of Kent County, which was established in 2003 and abandoned in 2011. The HRC of Chestertown has at its core the caveat of member selection independent but under the oversight by Mayor and Town Council.

This level of independence is intended to remove political and personal agenda, establish a safe place within local government and allow the vulnerable to feel a sense of trust that grievances with regard to discrimination of any kind will be heard and addressed in a fair and equitable process. The HRC of Chestertown is not designed to usurp the role of local government or its authority but to instill trust in the process.

This action becomes a challenge to the rule of law as it is many times used to protect privilege and shut the vulnerable out of the process of equal treatment. We have had marches, painted murals and expressed our sentiments over racism that exits in our community. A change in policy is the next step toward creating true and lasting change.

Rev. Ellsworth Tolliver
Chestertown Council 3rd Ward


Download PDF