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Kalamazoo city manager discusses election integrity, Proud Boys

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Posted at 7:55 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 19:55:18-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Kalamazoo City Manager Jim Ritsema released a statement Wednesday regarding voting integrity and the Proud Boys.

"Hate has no place in the City of Kalamazoo and we strongly denounce the Proud Boys and other hate groups that promote racism and seek to instigate violence and mayhem through their words and actions," Ritsema said.

It wasn't immediately clear why the Proud Boys were mentioned in relation to election integrity.

President Donald Trump mentioned the group during the presidential debate Tuesday night.

Ritsema says the city is taking "proactive steps" to protect the integrity of the November election.

Read the full statement:

“Hate has no place in the City of Kalamazoo and we strongly denounce the Proud Boys and other hate groups that promote racism and seek to instigate violence and mayhem through their words and actions. In Kalamazoo, we embrace the diversity of our community and everything hate groups like the Proud Boys represent is contrary to our values, beliefs and culture.
We are committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all our residents and visitors. As the November election draws near, we are taking proactive measures to ensure all Kalamazoo residents can safely and efficiently cast their votes - whether by mail, during early voting or at the polls on Election Day. We will not tolerate voter intimidation, voter harassment or voter suppression and we reject attempts by individuals and groups that seek to put up roadblocks and impediments to voting or participating in our Democratic process. Every vote will be counted accurately, and we encourage all Kalamazoo residents regardless of political party to participate and do so without fear.”