“Our churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of faith need to be available for neighbors, leaders and community to come together. The personal interaction that occurs in faith communities can prove invaluable.
We fought for this. It is an important step and powerful message at the right moment in New York. It’s an important time to humble ourselves, pray for peace and work for healing.”
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County Executive Molinaro, with leaders across the Hudson Valley, had led the call to reopen houses of worship following the tragic death of George Floyd. The full letter is below.
Subject: Houses of Worship
From: “Molinaro, Marcus” <email@example.com>
Date: May 31, 2020 at 1:38:30 PM EDT
To: Thomas Scaglione <Thomas.Scaglione@labor.ny.gov>, Michael Hein <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Michael Kopy <Michael.Kopy@exec.ny.gov>, Dylan Miyoshi <Dylan.Miyoshi@exec.ny.gov>
Cc: “Neuhaus, Steven” <SNeuhaus@orangecountygov.com>, MaryEllen Odell <MaryEllen.ODell@putnamcountyny.gov>, “Day, Ed” <email@example.com>, Pat Ryan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The protests we are witnessing over the last several days following the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis have caused significant destruction and disruption throughout many major cities in the United States.
We understand the anguish, sadness, and anger so many across our country are feeling; and we acknowledge the urgent need to address injustice wherever it resides in America, including right here in our own communities.
As Governor Cuomo himself said, although we do not condone violence, theft and property destruction, we understand the anger and grief being expressed as a result of this senseless killing. It could not happen at a worse time as people have been cooped up in their homes as we shelter in place to stem the transmission of a vicious and deadly virus.
Our churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of faith need to be available for neighbors, leaders and community to come together. And, the personal interaction that occurs in faith communities can prove invaluable. We respectfully request the reopening of faith based organizations allowing at least 25% occupancy with adherence to guidelines for social distancing, use of face coverings and with proper cleaning and hygiene at their facilities.
Embrace these men and women of faith to help address the pent up anger, anguish and tensions. Our faith leaders can and must be a key part of healing our communities. This can be a powerful sign and send a strong message to the people of America that we are still one nation, indivisible- and that we seek liberty and justice for all. Open the doors to our houses of faith – if only with limited capacity – to help us heal.
Stay safe. Be well. We are all in this together.
Marc Molinaro, Dutchess
Steve Neuhaus, Orange
Pat Ryan, Ulster
Ed Day, Rockland
Mary Ellen O’Dell, Putnam
Rob Rolison, Poughkeepsie
Steve Noble, Kingston
Lee Kyriacou, Beacon
Torrance Harvey, Newburgh
Kelly Decker, Port Jervis