Public forum on Immigration and Human Rights in Lincoln County
The Coastal Progressives’ Immigration Information Response Team hosted a panel of local public officials to discuss the status of immigrants’ rights in our county. The forum took place on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Newport. Invitations to participate in the panel were accepted by County Commissioner Bill Hall, County District Attorney Rob Bovett, County Sheriff Dennis Dotson, Newport Police Chief Mark Miranda, and Defense Attorney Richard Scholl. The forum, facilitated by Jeanne St.John of the Interfaith Peace and Justice Committee, was attended by 45 local residents.
The panelists responded to pre-distributed questions about the policies and practices concerning human rights relevant to their respective positions, especially in regard to immigrants. They were also asked to discuss their concerns about public safety issues and what steps they'd like to take to make Lincoln County a more inclusive and welcoming community.
"I was heartened to see a door open between officials and local residents who want to make Lincoln County a welcoming, caring community for all people living here,” said Mindy Spencer, IIRT member. “The ideas of inclusion offered by the audience to a panel of law authorities were listened to and discussed with respect.”
The public officials agreed to continue to work with the committee on implementing policy solutions that will make for a safer community, with respect for civil and human rights. They also agreed to support presenting a resolution re-affirming the innate dignity of all people in Lincoln County to the County Commissioners for adoption.
This forum was part of a series of public presentations and documentaries the Immigration Information Response Team of Coastal Progressives is sponsoring to inform ourselves and the public about the human and civil protections guaranteed to all our residents by our Constitution.