Virginia “Ginny” Gardner
Community Liaison for the Women’s Auxiliary American
Legion Post 440
Chairman of Keep Newton Safe
My name is Virginia Gardner. I represent “Keep Newton Safe” and I am Community Liaison of the Women’s Auxiliary American Legion Post 440 in Newton. I have listened to the testimonies for over five hours. I’ve heard “code words” for hate directed at me because I am not in favor of this bill. I’ve listened to heartbreaking testimony from eleven-year-old children and, yes, my heart breaks for them.
Now I ask you, do you feel the same heartbreak for Maureen Maloney, mother of Matthew Denise? Do you feel the same horror for the families of Molly Tibbetts, sexually assaulted and killed? Venessa Marcott, sexually assaulted and killed, her body burned beyond recognition? Maria Fuentas, 92 years old, raped, beaten, left out in the cold to die? The seven Jarheads motorcyclists, slaughtered on the backroads of New Hampshire? Do you feel the pain and heartbreak for their families? I feel their pain.
As a small-framed, female runner, I AM FRIGHTENED by this legislation. As are many women. We know that 90% of women cannot fight off strong men. We know that no amount of self-defense training can save us. This legislation puts me in direct danger. All your speakers have done nothing to address and calm my fears of this dangerous legislation. This legislation provides Illegal criminals the ability to be released back to the streets by not calling ICE.
This legislation makes me think of 9/11 and the Marathon Bombing. Martin Richards, Lunzg Lu, Krystal Campbell, and Sean Callier. My heart breaks for their families.
I heard people say untruthful, slanderous “trash talk” about ICE and Law Enforcement Officers. Some of the testimony here has fueled an unnecessary fear and disrespect of our Law Enforcement Officers and I am disgusted by their comments. I want to say “Thank You” to the men and women of Law Enforcement who put their lives on the line every day for us.
No law-abiding person, legal or illegal, citizen or non citizen, should be afraid of the police. Key word here is LAW-ABIDING. I urge you to give this an unfavorable vote. Please keep me safe.
Myself and Sande Young spoke as a panel “Women’s Safety.” I spoke first. Next, my friend and fellow board member of the Newton 9/11 memorial, Sande Young, spoke. After she was done, there was a question and answer period.
What happened next was possibly the most hateful comment said that day. The state representative from Dorchester, Liz Miranda, Democrat, 5th Suffolk, looked at us and said these words: “I have to ask you, what do two white women from the safest city in the state know about racism?” This was offensive on so many levels. She must think, because we are white we cannot have an opinion on this subject? Because we are from Newton we must be wealthy white women? Because we are white we can’t ever know or understand racism? According to her thinking, because we are white and never broke a law, we can’t understand how criminals must feel? Finally, because we are white we are racists?
Profiling, in the halls of justice, from the seat of an elected official who took an oath to uphold the law.
At that time I expressed to Sande I would like to take the question. The answer has been described by Bill Gillmister at Renew Mass. Coalition and is documented on tape.