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Headline Denver Jewish News

July 14, 2006 by Jordan Graham

Today is a good day to act -- to pick up the phone or send a fax or email -- to tell Fort Collins' city council how you feel about them removing the Menorah from the official city holiday display, which features Christmas trees and wreaths.

Here's what has happened

On Tuesday, July 11th, the Fort Collins City Council met to study whether they should remove the Menorah from the city's holiday display, which features a Christmas tree and wreaths.

This in Fort Collins, home to the hate flyers that were distributed in parking lots on CSU's campus.

One of the city council members, in picking and choosing to include a Christmas tree and exclude a Menorah, was quoted (incredibly) as saying "If we don't include all symbols, we can't just pick and choose what we think belongs there."

Here's another head-scratcher -- council member Ben Manvel said "We just didn't want to get into the picking and choosing business."

Here's what's happened

My take on excluding the Menorah

I see this as a tragic step away from Colorado being a place of awareness and growth, and giving support to the kind of people who distributed hate fliers at CSU this year.

The Menorah symbolizes religious freedom and acceptance of diversity. The Supreme Court, acting in that spirit, has ruled that the Menorah is a secular symbol.

Fort Collins is choosing to repress any discomfort around diversity issues, rather than support healthy discussion and growth on diversity.

The part that I find difficult to deal with is that they don't see that including the Christmas tree and excluding the Menorah is making any kind of a choice around inclusion and exclusion. They honestly believe that the Christmas tree is neutral, whereas the Menorah is Jewish. It's as though they live on a different planet from me.

Here's what you can do

Call, fax or email the Mayor and the city council members -- there are only six of them -- and tell them how you feel about their removal of the Menorah:

Contact info: City Hall West
300 LaPorte Avenue
P. O. Box 580
Fort Collins, CO 80521
Ph: (970) 221-6878
FAX: (970) 224-6107

Council Members
* Doug Hutchinson, Mayor

* Ben Manvel, Dist. 1

* Karen Weitkunat, Dist. 2

* Diggs Brown, Dist. 3

* Kurt Kastein, Dist. 4

* Kelly Ohlson, Dist. 5

* David Roy, Dist. 6

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