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Alex Cabrero ReportingThe state said NO! But two more municipalities say YES and have put Hate Crimes legislation on paper.
Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County have joined Sandy in signing hate crimes resolutions. Now in the eye of the law the papers don't carry any legal weight, but ask Sonia James and they sure mean a lot towards getting there.
Sonia James: “Regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender.”
They're only words on paper, black on white, the two colors that caused the paper in the first place.
Sonia James: “I can either stay quiet and let it all pass or I can stand up and say, ‘This is not right.’”
Sonia James has been trying to get hate crimes legislation passed in Utah for years now. Every time it fails; this past year was the hardest for her because she really thought it was going to go through.
Sonia James: “It was pretty depressing. That took a while to get over.”
Especially since this past year, she's come home several times to find pro-white propaganda on her doorstep.
Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon wanted to help right away.
Peter Corroon, Mayor of Salt Lake County: “Frankly, I was shocked that these things still go on in our country.”
Now Sonia holds the proclamation the county passed last week.
Sonia James: “It’s feeling really good that the mayors are stepping up.”
Yes, she said mayors, plural. Besides Corroon, Sandy mayor Tom Dolan signed a hate crimes resolution in his city two months ago. And Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson hopes to have his done next week.
Mayor Rocky Anderson: “I think it’s important for cities to speak up on these issues.”
Sonia James: “If we can learn to just live in harmony, and send that message, this is a state that lives in harmony regardless, it’s gonna be a very strong message.”
And that message is directed right at the capitol for legislators to think about. Again, these resolutions aren't bills, statutes, or laws, just a position on where the city or county stands. If the state won't do it, they figure they will.