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Jacque Betz: Shared core value of equity commits us to respecting every individual's right to dream

As expressly stated in Resolution 1184 (https://bit.ly/3AAPrtu) the city of Gladstone has a shared core value of equity and is committed to respecting every individual's right to dream and the right for their history and cultural heritage being celebrated, while living in the city of Gladstone, and hate is not acceptable in Gladstone.Jacque Betz

The economic impact these protests have had on our local economy has been tremendous, and we have relied on Gladstone Police and regional law enforcement resources to provide a safe environment. People living in Gladstone love living in Gladstone. Many go through the school system, move away to embark on their adult lives, and then come back to raise their families. Its history and tradition run deep and we want to retain Gladstone's community vibe and assure residents this is a safe place to live.

Please be assured that the city of Gladstone takes its responsibility to respect and protect free-speech rights seriously and will support peaceful gatherings. However, the city will swiftly move against unlawful behaviors and to the extent non-speech related activities, such as harassment or stalking, are occurring, we strongly urge members of the community to contact the Gladstone Police Department so appropriate follow-up action can occur.

The Gladstone Police Department has not entered or will not enter into any agreements. The police department's priority is to maintain public safety for our community and those involved. Preventing physical violence and property damage is a component of public safety and we have been successful up to this date.

According to applicable state and local laws, and general principles of constitutional free-speech protections, here is what continues to be allowed:

1. Peaceful protests on sidewalks that do not interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic have very strong constitutional protections; our ability as the government to prohibit such activities is very limited, and as the government we need to be very careful in attempting to do so even if we strongly disagree with the message being shared.

2. If the ongoing activities change in character, the police department will actively enforce applicable laws, including, but not limited prohibitions on unlawful assemblies and disorderly conduct; permits will be required if/when our existing permit ordinance applies.

Thank you for respecting rights of all individuals in our community.

Jacque Betz is Gladstone's city administrator.


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