Alders tabled Sun Prairie Mayor Paul Esser’s resolution supporting Hmong and Lao residents on the March 17 Sun Prairie City Council agenda.
But Esser said he had some discussion with a member of the council who said that any action is inappropriate at this time because the council is not well enough informed. The mayor said he had the resolution drawn up.
“I’m comfortable enough that we are taking action just by having this on our agenda,” Esser said.
Patterned after a resolution approved by the Sun Prairie School Board, the council resolution notes the State of Wisconsin is the proud home of 49,240 Hmong people which is one-fifth of Hmong people living in the United States.
The resolution also states “many faced retaliation in Laos for their cooperation with the United States after the end of the Vietnam War and fought for and gained rights to resettlement in the United States and states “many Hmong people are part of our community here in Sun Prairie as our neighbors, family members, friends, co-workers, business owners, students, and veterans.”
The resolution criticizes a recent proposal by the current Presidential administration is seeking to deport more than 4,500 Hmong people nationwide who have been longtime residents of the U.S., noting “this proposal has sowed fear into Hmong communities across Wisconsin, including our own in Sun Prairie.”
Because Sun Prairie is committed to advancing equity, “honoring our diverse identity, and creating an inclusive culture,” the resolution added, “and Hmong, Lao, and other ethnic minority group refugees from Laos have long-established roots in Wisconsin, many have no family ties in Laos, do not speak the language and have never lived in Laos.”
Those ordered to be removed by the U.S. will face the danger of marginalization, violence or death in Laos, according to the resolution, which states the “the City of Sun Prairie opposes efforts to deport, separate and traumatize families.” The resolution also “condemns efforts to criminalize and further marginalize our community residents through this proposed legislation.”
The mayor asked to postpone the resolution, but not to a date certain. Alders agreed, voting to postpone.
Vandenburg Park Citizen Committee appointed
Alders ratified appointments to the Vandenburg Parks Project Citizen Participation Plan Committee, including Teran Peterson, Bill Dunlop, Katrina Collins, Bobby Finn, and Janice Chestnut.
Dunlop is an ordained beacon who is a registered professional engineer in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Virginia. Peterson, a candidate for District 19 County Supervisor, is currently a neighborhood navigator. Chestnut has a bachelor’s degree in Business and Healthcare Management who lives in the area, while Finn works at Prairie Phoenix Academy and because of his disability will provide a different perspective to any park planning effort. Collins is a neighborhood navigator who also has volunteered with Sunshine Supper and the Salvation Army.
Street right of way hearing postponed
At the recommendation of City Attorney Mark Leonard, alders postponed a hearing to discontinue portions of a street.
The city is seeking to discontinue a portion of South Wildwood Street. The new rights-of-way, as identified in the plat of Pumpkin Patch Farms, conform to city standards, but residents in the area still need to be notified of the abandonment, according to the resolution postponed by the council.