PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Residents and city leaders in Lake Oswego are speaking out in support of a family who received an anonymous letter asking them to remove a Black Lives Matter sign from their home.
The family member who shared the story and the letter on Twitter earlier this week said the experience was “100% on brand for Lake Oswego.”
The anonymous letter signed “Your Neighbors” claims the sign hanging in the family’s window drives down property value and isn’t something people want to see when they’re returning home from work. It goes on to state that homes are not billboards for opinions.
Julian Jaramillo, who lives on the same street, said both daughters including the one who painted the sign are good role models and babysit his kids.
“I wish they had just put their names on so we could talk and have a discussion,” Jaramillo said of the letter’s author.
Jaramillo said he’s happy the family opted to leave the sign up. He said he’s happy to call the area home, saying it’s a “very nice neighborhood, very quiet and very nice people.”
However, as a person of color himself, Jaramillo said that what happened to this family hits a nerve.
“That’s why I moved here because I wanted to have a good life and quality of life and now we feel like are we in the wrong place,” he said. “I don’t want to live in an environment like that. I want to feel safe and welcome.”
On Tuesday, Lake Oswego City Manager Martha Bennett called on the community to join leaders in stamping out racism, intolerance and fear.
Bennett released the following statement:
“This morning, we learned that a Lake Oswego family recently received an anonymous letter requesting the removal of Black Lives Matter signs from their home. We stand in solidarity with this family.
The City of Lake Oswego is committed to making Lake Oswego a welcoming community for everyone. We envision a place where every person feels safe and supported by each other. We respect our residents’ First Amendment rights for free expression, and we believe in constructive dialog that allows people to discuss their differences of opinion face-to-face.
As a City, we value our BIPOC community members, and we stand for anti-racism. Everyone should be able to thrive in Lake Oswego without worrying about how the color of their skin affects their opportunities. No one should have to live with suspicion and fear of one’s neighbors.
We are committed to making Lake Oswego a community for all and we need the help of every person. Please join us in stamping out racism, intolerance, and fear in Lake Oswego.”