5 Michigan mayors join movement to combat hate, extremism, bigotry in US

Westland, Rochester Hills, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Muskegon mayors take pledge

WESTLAND, Mich. – Leaders across the United States are uniting to fight hate and bigotry, and now five mayors in Michigan are joining the movement.

Mayors from Westland, Rochester Hills, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Muskegon took the new pledge, promising to take action against hate.

Westland is a self-proclaimed compassionate city, so joining the movement was a no-brainer for Mayor William Wild.

"We just recently passed a very comprehensive anti-discrimination ordinance in Westland, so it's something we take very seriously," Wild said.

The five Michigan mayors are the most recent to sign the compact to combat hate, extremism and bigotry. They said it's a direct result of what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, and President Donald Trump's response to the violence.

"I think what you're looking for is mayors are stepping in," Wild said. "They're filling that void that we're not getting at the national level as far as leadership on this topic."

The list of mayors is approaching 300 nationwide, and a few of the 10 key components they promise to enforce more vigorously than they already do include ensuring public safety while protecting free speech and ramping up police training and response to hate crimes and domestic terrorism.

"All throughout history, mayors have always stepped up," Wild said. "They've always pushed back on discrimination, racism, extremism -- things that we've seen can happen at any city across America, so we're trying to be prepared."

Many of the 10 key components are followed by communities such as Westland anyway, but Wild said putting them at the forefront can help with preparation for future issues.

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