Teaneck, New Jersey (July 13, 2011) – Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin, the Muslim American mayor of Teaneck, New Jersey, and the Teaneck Township Council unanimously passed an anti-bias resolution.
The resolution was presented by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, on July 12, 2011. It reaffirms the township’s commitment to state bias intimidation laws and requires the municipality to: train law enforcement agencies in identifying and investigating bias crimes; gather and make accessible data on bias crimes; inform residents about their rights around bias incidents; and, improve engagement with communities impacted by such crimes.
“For the Township of Teaneck this was an easy resolution to pass,” said Mayor Hameeduddin. “It is consistent with the core values of our town. Many of the requirements of the resolution are already being conducted by our fine Police Department. We are happy to serve as a role model for other communities.” He added, “We appreciate SAALT taking a lead in working with local municipalities to address these important issues.”
Chief of Police of the Township of Teaneck, Robert A. Wilson, said, “It is a positive public statement and clearly indicates the Township of Teaneck Police Department’s lack of tolerance for bias offenses.”
The resolution was designed as part of SAALT’s national campaign, An America for All of Us, to mark the 10-year anniversary of September 11th. Through community mobilization and policy advocacy efforts, the campaign seeks to reaffirm a commitment to the fundamental American values of justice, diversity and equality for all, and ensure that racism, xenophobia and anti-immigrant rhetoric have no place in American society.
In this context, the resolution is all the more poignant. During the past decade, numerous South Asians, along with Arab Americans and Sikh populations, have been targeted by bias and hate crimes. This resolution will not only ensure the safety and security of community members across the township, but it also helps enhance relationships with law enforcement agencies, and improve reporting measures.
“As we mark a decade since 9/11, resolutions like these are important to reflect fundamental American values,” said Deepa Iyer, Executive Director, SAALT. “We look forward to working on the implementation of this resolution. We have presented it in other municipalities also, and hope that they follow the example of Teaneck, New Jersey.”
To continue its efforts in raising the voices and perspectives of community members in New Jersey, SAALT will also hold a community hearing on “South Asians in New Jersey: Ten Years After 9/11.” The hearing will be held on July 30, 2011, from 10:00AM to 12:00PM at Dinneen Hall at McIntyre Lounge, Saint Peter’s College (2641 John F. Kennedy Boulevard Jersey City, NJ 07306).
To RSVP for the hearing, and for more information, please contact: Navneet Bhalla, New Jersey Policy and Outreach Coordinator | (201) 993 3758 | [email protected].