~ March 25 2024 ~
NTN Letter to Village of Wilmette: Fly the “We the People” religious freedom banner this summer!

Nearly two dozen Wilmette residents attended the March 19th meeting of the Village of Wilmette’s Human Relations Commission (HRC) and applauded NTN’s proposal for Wilmette to fly a unifying religious freedom banner this summer. NTN then submitted its proposal in writing to Erik Hallgren, assistant village manager, and the Wilmette Village Board of Trustees.

Below is the email, and the remarks delivered at the March 19 HRC meeting by NTN Board Member Betsy Hart.

The next HRC meeting on the subject is scheduled for April 16th. Are you interested in being involved in the We the People effort? Please email us at NewTrierNeighbors@gmail.com.

See the text of our proposal letter to the Village below. See NTN's remarks at the March 19 meeting of the Wilmette Human Relations Commission here.
Dear Mr. Hallgren,
New Trier Neighbors was very pleased to present to the Human Relations Commission Tuesday evening our proposal to fly the “We the People” religious freedom banner from Wilmette light posts this summer. Below and attached are the We the People banner, and the text of the remarks delivered. 

To sum up, religious freedom is a point of agreement with the overwhelming majority of Wilmette residents (as their views likely reflect national polls); it would allow the Commission to fulfill its charter of promoting inclusion when it comes to religion as well as other backgrounds and identities; and it would be in line with the 2022 United States Supreme Court decision in Shurtleff v. City of Boston, in which the high court decided 9 to 0 that Boston had violated the First Amendment by not hosting a religious banner when it hosted displays of banners celebrating other identities, viewpoints, and causes. 
New Trier Neighbors believes that promoting the We the People religious freedom banner would help with some of the divisions in our community you witnessed at the Tuesday, March 19, evening meeting, when almost two dozen Wilmette residents were present to show or speak to their concerns about the Progressive PRIDE Flag/celebration planned for June, centering around medicalization of radical gender theory on children, as well as the unequal time of celebration allotted to long-established groups such as veterans.

We at New Trier Neighbors look forward to discussing our proposal with you, and the Village Trustees, as soon as possible. Again, attached and below are the remarks I delivered Tuesday night on behalf of New Trier Neighbors, and a digital copy of the We the People banner.

All of us at New Trier Neighbors look forward to your timely response.

Betsy Hart
New Trier Neighbors
Board Member
Village of Wilmette seeking DEI consultant

At the March 19 Human Relations Commission (HRC) meeting also on the agenda was the search to secure a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) consultant to be shared across the villages of Wilmette, Glencoe and Highland Park. Here is the Request for Qualifications.

We've shared many times before about the downsides of DEI in school environments because it calls for certain groups to receive special treatment over others based on an oppresser/oppressed status which is divisive, counterproductive and anti-Semitic. In a village government setting, the same applies. Many organizations are even moving away from forced and burdensome DEI efforts, though locally they appear to be remaining in vogue for now.

One output of DEI efforts is the promotion of pronoun usage, despite the controversy surrounding gender theory, especially as it relates to radical medical procedures for youth. At the February meeting of the HRC, the commission discussed the idea of a policy for Village trustees and employees to feature "pronouns" on their email signatures. Community pronoun "education" was also referenced at the 3/19 HRC meeting as part of the forthcoming DEI consultant work.
The Village of Wilmette’s Human Relation Commission (HRC) was reinvigorated in 2020, the year of the nationwide George Floyd riots. The HRC has been partaking in various DEI efforts the past few years as outlined in its workplan presented to the Village in 2022.  

We will continue to report on the HRC’s activities and hope that the committee will focus more on unifying efforts, such as the flag we have proposed. Have a thought? Please contact us at newtrierneighbors@gmail.com.
Save the date -- April 16 -- for a roundtable on education sponsored by education advocacy organization Seeking Education Excellence. Registration details to come!