Statement on Mislabeled Campaign Mailer

May 7th, 2020

The Arlington Fights Racism (AFR) steering committee would like to take a moment to say that, while our priority is to the town’s marginalized citizens, we welcome participation of the entire Arlington community.

We want to use this time to acknowledge recent events. We, too, were upset by the mistake Lynette Martyn made in mislabeling a campaign mailing she posted on our behalf. Still, we appreciate that her apology was tendered quickly, sincerely, and without prompting. We also want to recognize our part in this, of having placed the burden of this task on a single person, without also providing her the formal procedures and support needed to answer all contingencies. We apologize to all for the confusion and disruption caused by this error. More importantly, we apologize to our candidates, for distracting from your campaigns.

Our community group formed in response to local racist and hate-filled writings. Through our work, we observed the roles that institutional racism, lack of representation and transparency have played in our town. For that reason, we decided to focus our efforts on building a grassroots election movement, with the goal of increasing diversity and representation at all levels of town government, to help our town grow into one that is truly welcoming and inclusive for all.

Our group supports 36 candidates for Town Meeting across 18 precincts, many of whom represent our town’s marginalized communities. These candidates are members of the larger AFR community –including several members of our steering committee, and others who volunteered to support our Inclusion platform. We also opted to endorse three candidates for town-wide office, including two who are not members of our group, but who share our vision of a more inclusive and welcoming Arlington. While these candidates share our core vision for an inclusive Arlington, they remain individuals; each has their own beliefs, goals, and priorities for our town. Regardless of your opinion of us, we trust that the voters of Arlington will make the effort to meet, evaluate, and measure these candidates for their own individual merits.

–Melanie Brown, co-chair
AFR Steering Committee