This post originally appeared on Reform Immigration for America.
Unbelievable. Thanks to your texts, tweets, and shares, more than 3,500 people have texted to deliver a taco to East Haven Mayor Joe Maturo, following his insensitive comment about accusations of racial discrimination against the Latino community. We just delivered 500 tacos to the mayor’s office as a visual of all those across the country who are outraged by his careless remarks.
Your outpouring of support was more than we anticipated. Your outcry was about much more than the tacos: It was about addressing the racial injustice that has been plaguing this town unchecked for years, and how to ensure local leaders will put an end to the terrorization and abuse.
With this delivery, we are sending an open invitation to Mayor Maturo to start an honest dialogue with the Latino community. With each additional text, we will donate to fund a community dinner, and we invite the mayor to attend. As for the tacos we brought to office today, our local allies at JUNTA for Progressive Action are making sure that they are not going to waste: the food will be donated to the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, a local soup kitchen that serves greater New Haven residents, including those from East Haven.
From JUNTA’s statement at the delivery:
“The relationship between minorities and East Haven law enforcement is a strained one: one that does not serve to strengthen the police, the government you run, the people of East Haven or those who travel into your town. At Junta, we have worked to build strong community partnerships with police and with the state and city officials who represent us. We know how to work together to make our cities safer and productive.”
“With honest dialogue we can repair the damages caused by a history of abuse and neglect. We call on the City of East Haven to partner with us and other organizations to create meaningful change and to eradicate discrimination and injustice.”
As always, we will keep you updated on the blog as this story develops. Keep spreading the word about this issue by sharing our posts and inviting friends to text TACO to 69866. Read the letter we included with today’s delivery below:
“The Office of Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr.
250 Main St.
East Haven, CT 06512
The FBI said that because of four police officers, “life was made miserable for Hispanics” in East Haven. Years of federal investigation have uncovered numerous instances of terrorizing and abusing Latinos in your town.”
“These are serious allegations against the state of civic affairs in your community – yet when asked what you personally would be doing to address racial discrimination in East Haven, you made a mockery of the crisis by suggesting that eating tacos is enough to help the Latino community in the wake of this tragedy.”
“Your subsequent apology isn’t enough to make up for allowing institutionalized racism in a police force and city government.”
“Thousands of individuals across the country have tuned in to the outrageous events unfolding in East Haven. The Latino community needs you to show your sincerity that you are ready to make amends, and speak openly on how to solve these deeply…”