GRANVILLE, OHIO (WCMH) – A resolution declaring the village and township of Granville “welcoming communities” has been passed by the Village Council.
It passed 6-0 on Wednesday night. Public comment on the matter lasted about an hour and a half, with area residents for and against the resolution.
“This is a resolution that can help people of color feel welcome, not just Granville residents, but also Denison students and faculty and I feel like it’s not anything that can hurt anybody who’s already feeling welcomed,” said resident Rana Odeh.
The resolution declares: “…In which all of our residents and visitors can feel welcomed, safe, and able to fully participate in and contribute positively to, our community’s social and economic life.”
Although it passed, some did not agree with it.
“I feel like America is being divided,” said resident Eillen Derolf. “I think it’s really important that everybody has equal status and when we start making protected classes or welcome some people specifically and not other people specifically, I feel like we’re creating division.”
Odeh said she generally feels welcome in Granville and enjoys living there, but does feel subtle discrimination for being Muslim or for looking “different” compared to the rest of the community.
“It’s mind boggling that a person who is white and says they don’t feel discrimination thinks that’s somehow representative of how the rest of the community feels,” she said. “I feel like you cannot understand what you don’t experience.”
Derolf said the resolution may cause a divided community.
“Diversity pretty much by definition means division and this country needs to look for it’s commonality not it’s differences if we are to come together as a country and be successful as a nation,” she said.
The Granville Village Council said the resolution doesn’t mean they are trying to make the town a sanctuary city.