Cyr Speaks About Protests, Census, and LGBTQ Rights

HYANNIS – Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr gave his thoughts on ongoing protests, the region’s Census results, and a recent Supreme Court ruling regarding LGBTQ rights.

Cyr said that he is proud of Cape Codders in how they have advocated for racial justice and systematic change. After weeks of demonstrations, Cyr believes now is the time to address those changes.

“Racism is white folks’ problem; this is my problem,” he said.

“This is our problem, and I think it’s something that we really need to interrogate and take a look, and do the hard work here in our communities.”

Proposals such as applying statutory limits on police force and the establishment of a commission on structural racism have been brought up at the State House, according to Cyr.

He anticipates that a number of these proposals will be passed along to Governor Charlie Baker in the near future, but added that the state legislature needs to continue to take action beyond these steps.

Low United States Census numbers on the Cape and Islands were also brought up by Cyr.

Barnstable County, for instance, has a roughly 43% census response rate; in comparison, the statewide average is at around 63%. Nantucket County and Dukes County response rates sit at around 24% and 16%, respectively.

The residents of these counties have been reminded to fill out the census, as it is vital to ensure that the area is properly counted.

“The census is our best shot to get our fair share of resources for the region,” Cyr said.

“It determines our representation, it determines a whole list of allotment of dollars. It’s really important that we get this right.”

To encourage more residents to respond to the census, the Cape Cod and Islands legislative delegation on Beacon Hill has launched the #CountCapeCod campaign. Municipal leaders are encouraged to join legislators in promoting this campaign.

Cyr urged residents to visit the U.S. Census Bureau’s website, which can be accessed by clicking here, to learn more.

Cyr also touched upon a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that states that under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, businesses cannot fire people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“This is historic. The margin of the ruling, having it be 6-3, is really something to celebrate, and I think shows that we still have work to do as a nation to make sure that we’re achieving equity for all of our citizens, particularly LGBTQ people,” Cyr said.

The senator, a member of the LGBTQ community, said he was thankful for the Supreme Court’s ruling.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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