A Statement from Mayor Kessler and Council President Troy Markham

Friday, Feb 10, 2023 at 5:30 pm


This past week our Bexley community has been rocked by a series of racist incidents that have caused a tremendous amount of pain and hurt. For many of us, this week has been marked by profound sadness and dismay, and for others it has only reaffirmed a truth that has been felt within our families for generations. Whatever our lived experience or perspective, we must do all we can so every resident feels safe and welcomed as an integral part of our community.

The roots of racism run deep in America, and as much as we self-identify as being open and welcoming to all, historically bluelined communities such as Bexley carry a substantial historic weight that must be acknowledged, understood, and reckoned with. The stories of Black visitors and residents being made to feel unwelcome in Bexley over the decades are so painful and real because they’re true. It’s hard to acknowledge the depth and weight of generational trauma created by a legacy of systemic segregation and the explicit racism that underpinned it. If we do not allow ourselves to understand our history and its implications, then we will never be able to move forward and overcome it.

We have come a long way as a community, but we still have much further to go to become a Bexley that is firmly and consistently rooted in anti-racist resolve… one that creates a secure and caring environment for all of our households, places of work, and centers of learning. One that models allyship with a singular sense of purpose and shared trajectory. One where our Black neighbors feel safe and secure. One where we fully transition from a we-don’t-talk-about-it community to a we-must-talk-about-it-and-do-something-about-it community. One Bexley, authentically welcoming to all and for all.

The leadership of Bexley is earnestly and universally committed to this cause. We wholeheartedly believe that Bexley is capable of this journey and that it’s essential that we take it. This will entail new types of conversations taking place, new vulnerabilities, and new paths to forge as a community. We are determined to re-double our efforts today so that we can share a better tomorrow. We need you to join us.

Mayor Ben Kessler

Council President Troy Markham

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