About Arlington Fights Racism

In 2019 a group of concerned Arlington citizens came together to form Arlington Fights Racism in response to local racist and hate-filled writings. Through our work, we observed the roles that institutional racism and a lack of representation and transparency have played in our town. As a result, we focused our work on building a grassroots election movement. Our goals are to increase the diversity of representation at all levels of town government, challenge institutional racism, reverse the harmful precedent set by our town’s use of restorative justice with large, affected communities, and create a town that is truly welcoming and inclusive for all Arlington’s residents.

Steering Committee

  • Robin Bergman
  • Melanie Brown (co-chair)
  • Lynette Culverhouse
  • Elizabeth Dray (co-chair)
  • Lynette Martyn (co-chair)
  • Louise Popkin
  • Rajeev Soneja (co-chair)
  • Jordan Weinstein

Visit us on Facebook for news and events: @ArlingtonFR


Town Manager could lead substantive reform with these 10 changes

Arlington needs real leadership and substantive reform. Ask our Town Manager to commit to these 10 proposals to prevent another case like Pedrini’s, to make Arlington a safe and welcoming town for all, and to promote APD accountability and reform.

To prevent something like the Pedrini case from happening again, we ask the Town to: 

  1. Develop a town wide Communications Policy as part of Arlington’s Code of Conduct, and make it a mandatory part of all future labor union contracts.
  2. Create an Arlington Police Department policy specifying that Restorative Justice (RJ) only be considered after an arrest as an alternative to charging a detainee with a non-violent criminal offense, and is not to be used for personnel matters or in cases involving misconduct by our elected or appointed officials.
  3. Reverse the potentially harmful precedent set by Arlington’s use of restorative justice by publicly stating that it was a mistake to use RJ as discipline for an officer and that the process was unsuccessful.

To make Arlington a safe and welcoming town for all and to promote APD accountability and reform we ask the Town to:

  1. Fire Lt. Pedrini.
  2. Support the passage of Warrant Article #6: To Study the Creation of a Police Civilian Review Board at the November Special Town Meeting.
  3. Have the Arlington Police Chief publish a statement that denounces Lt. Pedrini’s writings for their racism and for their advocacy of violence.  
  4. With the guidance of marginalized communities, reallocate a significant percentage of the police budget and reassign current police responsibilities to agencies better qualified to provide these social services, including housing, education, healthcare, and non-violent crisis intervention and resolution. 
  5. Clearly communicate to Communities for Restorative Justice that they must discontinue their dangerous practice of using RJ where there is a power differential or with a large harmed community.  
  6. End the APD’s contract with Communities for Restorative Justice.
  7. Support Warrant Article #25  to keep the Black Lives Matter banner at Town Hall.

Featured News

Town Hall Arlington MA

Creating Safe & Welcoming Community

We all want to feel safe in our community but the hard truth is that racism is embedded in our town governance and police force, and many residents are unsafe and unseen.  On Tuesday, September 22, Arlington’s leaders tried to close the final chapter and “move beyond” Lt. Pedrini’s racist and hate-filled writings. With hollow … Continue reading “Creating Safe & Welcoming Community”

Arlington High School (MA)

In Arlington, Black voices challenge a white suburban school district to do better – Boston Globe

By Jenna Russell Globe Staff
He had never shared the story outside his family, holding his frustration close. But after Minneapolis police pressed the life out of George Floyd, J. Mike Remy felt compelled to end his silence.

Highlights

Calling Out the Issues-

A Time of Reflection and Action Tuesdays: June, 23, July 7 & 24, August 4, 7:00 pm Moderated by Jillian Harvey, DEI Coordinator and Allentza Michel, DEI Community Consultant- Powerful Pathways, the panel discussion with town leadership will reflect upon the roots of systemic racism, its implications for Arlington and acknowledge the calls for action…

Election Results Statement

This election season has been like nothing seen before in Arlington. For the first time, a group of people came together to make change in a unique way, to challenge the election landscape to build a more welcoming and inclusive environment, one that embraces its changing demographic, rather than simply tolerating it. We invited and…

Finding common ground for a better Arlington

Once again, the goals and purpose of Arlington Fights Racism (AFR), all of which is public on our website, are being misrepresented by those who feel threatened by our existence. So once again, AFR asserts that we are no more and no less than what we have stated time and time again, a diverse group…

Support for Local Efforts to Fight COVID-19

We are encouraging people to donate to the following two local actions: Arlington Eats , which is working to deliver food to residents in need. Masks On , a grass-roots movement by town meeting candidate, Sanjay Vakil. They are combining 3D printing and snorkel masks to provide 50K masks to high risk clinicians across the…

Creating Safe Communities

Originally Published December 5, 2019 in the Arlington Advocate Approximately 50 people gathered at First Parish Unitarian Universalist for “Creating Safe Communities,” organized by Arlington Fights Racism, facilitated by Dr. Rick Pinderhughes of Visions Inc. (which is conducting the bias evaluation of the Arlington Police Department), and co-sponsored by Arlington’s Diversity Task Group, Arlington-Teosinte Sister…


Arlington Fights Racism is a community group to stand against racism, bigotry, discrimination of any kind, and the promotion of violence. The group formed to address the writings of Arlington Police Department’s Lt. Richard Pedrini. Through Massachusetts Police Association publications he has encouraging violence against protesters (especially Black protesters), people addicted to drugs, immigrants, and refugees.