Black Lives Matter Banner’s Future Below Dialogue

CLast Updated: January 20, 2021

Written by Susan Gilbert

“Inclusion of a long-standing precedent of displaying banners … on City Hall in a temporary, recurring manner …”

The discussion continues about where in Arlington a city-sponsored Black Lives Matter banner might hang.

The banner hung outside City Hall from June 8 to September 30, in part in response to the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May. After many in town wanted to see the return, Town Meeting discussed an article on the matter in December. An amended proposal was accepted, 166-34 and 38 abstaining.

At its January 4th meeting, the Select Board unanimously agreed to continue discussing the banner. It received a December 30 memo from Vice Chairman Joe Curro Jr. and Board Member DeCourcey recommending the following:

DeCourcey said, “We haven’t developed a plan. This is a response to the discussions last summer and fall and the town meeting. It is not a proposal for a permanent banner in the town hall; this is open to discussion.”

Board member Len Diggins said, “We need to determine how we use public property to hang banners. There is no reason to believe that we are not in a position similar to that of September” when the BLM banner was removed and the residents complained.

“I have no confidence that we would adhere to a policy because the pressure will return. I am for the first and third listing and recommend doing something bold – like hanging it across a street – so people can see it really, “he said

Mahon said, “So far, the only banners displayed in City Hall announced Town Day (a community event) and a strawberry festival hosted by the high school music department. City Hall should not display a banner 12 months out of the year.”

Hurd recommends hanging the banner to show that Arlington confirms Black Lives Matter.

“We have had a lot of discussions about it and a lot of public input,” he said. “Last fall, it was time to work out a permanent plan for the banner in response to public input. We decided to go through our special meeting in town and let members reflect on the issue.

“I would consider this vote among other competing considerations. It is our job now to work out a plan. We have received enough input to reach consensus, take action, and have a permanent plan to respond to To push plans. ” Statement from Black Lives Matter. We have to solve that and move forward. Maybe hang on the flagpole at Uncle Sam Plaza. “

Calyx Peak asks again about marijuana

The Select Board unanimously approved receipt of a presentation from marijuana retailer Calyx Peak, which plans to open a retail store at 25 Summer St. Arlington. A host agreement / permit is still available for a marijuana retailer.

Several offers were made to the Select Board over the past year, including Calyx Peak, which the Select Board refused to approve in October. Read about it here >>

“Since then, Calyx Peak has been doing public relations and wants to showcase any progress they have made,” said Hurd.

In a memo to the board of directors, Ed Schmults, Calyx Peak’s chief executive officer, wrote in response to previous comments from the board: “Calyx Peak partnered with a transportation technology company to … investigate traffic problems … and began serving the community Calyx Peak believes these steps were critical in taking into account the Select Board’s feedback and adequately reflecting the impact on the community. “

Mahon said, “I’m not inclined to have a meeting with a mini-host community agreement after we’ve already made a decision. This process sets a precedent that, if we get a vote, it could be a way which is not approved. ” bypass the process.

“The host community agreement is not currently open. If it is open, Calyx Peak should have more detailed information. There are other issues than just queuing for traffic.

“I encourage all non-licensed applicants to wait for the board to open the application and all follow the same process and not approve or consider this back-door approach.”

Councilors Doug Heim and Mahon have been asked to clarify the future process.

Board appoints a member of the Police Study Committee

The board unanimously agreed to appoint a selected board member to the study committee of the city’s Police Civilian Advisory Board.

This vote allows a proxy, not an appointment, said the home city council.

“The representative would be an administrative person who plans the first meeting at the same time as the previous practice, and we will name it [Select Board Administrator] Marie Krepelka. The members entitled to vote then vote for each other. Either Krepelka or someone from the selection committee will continue after the first session without voting rights oversight, “Mahon said.

Youth art banners in the center this spring

In April and May, look for colorful banners in the center along the Mass. Ave. The youth banner initiative, sponsored by the Arlington Commission for Art and Culture, has been showing artwork for teenage students to express the theme of “protest” since 2016. “as unanimously approved by the Select Board.

The banners were originally supposed to hang through June, but the board members were more comfortable with the April 1st through May 31st period.

“I worry about June, which is Pride Month and (possibly) the graduation of Arlington High School,” said board member Steve DeCourcey.

Banner request >>

Watch the ACMi video of the January 4th meeting: has been serving Arlington, Massachusetts news and opinions since 2006. Editor Bob Sprague is a past editor at The Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and Arlington Advocate. Read more at