Re Councillors veto free kai (Chronicle, June 27).
This was debated again at the June 23 Horizons meeting. I knew this must be a very significant issue as one councillor has brought it up on the agenda every year for six years.
I thought this item must need food for thought.
I have always treated this time as a working lunch - we all know the conversations that go on over the lunch table .
Lunch was also provided to staff that had presented to the council that morning as we expect them also to work over the lunch break.
Often guests including iwi, government officials - district councils also joined us for lunch.
Again this time is used to understand the issues we face in a less formal environment. It adds an extra 40 to 60 minutes to our working day.
We are not running a hall committee - bring a plate, this is a $50 million-plus business.
I am happy to pay for my lunch, but have it supplied at the council office, but there should be no cost to staff. I don't buy the argument it's a free lunch, as we expect them to work over the lunch break too.
Do you value the staff having to work over their lunch break? Do you value the councillors staying together and working over lunch? Do you value your councillors building relationships with key stakeholders in our region?
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I personally judge the best time management and value for money to the ratepayer v the best headline in the newspaper - this is no free lunch.
COUNCILLOR DAVID COTTON
Dog whistle symbols
Recently the Chronicle reported that a Catholic church in Masterton displayed the slogan "all lives matter" on its message board.
Hamilton minister Reverend Frank Ritchie said he "wanted to assume the 'best intentions' were in place in making the message". Today Walmart in the USA banned the sale of "All Lives Matters" T-shirts.
The movement "Black Lives Matter" rose in 2013 in response to the acquittal of the Trayvon Martin's murderer. The phrase has since been modified by white supremacists to the seemingly innocent phrase "All Lives Matter".
During his first court appearance, the Christchurch killer famously made an "OK" hand gesture — as the NY Post describes: "a symbol used by white nationalists and racist internet trolls" (that leaves three fingers splayed in a "W" for "white"). The "OK" hand symbol, the Confederate flag, the backwards Buddhist swastika, and the phrase "All Lives Matter" have all been added to the dog whistle racist lexicon. They all present various degrees of "plausible deniability".
What is not deniable is that in 2019 "data of all police killings in the country compiled by Mapping Police Violence, black Americans were (proportionately) nearly three times more likely to die from police than white Americans". (Statistica).
Additionally, African Americans were "nearly one-and-a-half times more likely to be unarmed before their death".
Disproportionate violence against non-white people has been endemic across the nations of European origin or control. Dog whistle symbols of white nationalism should be exposed and discouraged.