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Prescott City Council to vote on Stringer statement Tuesday

Rep. David Stringer (Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer, file)

Rep. David Stringer (Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer, file)

The Prescott City Council will hold a Special Voting Meeting at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, to address a statement on Rep. David Stringer.

The statement is the only item on the regular agenda. There will be no public comment taken.

Stringer recently was recorded telling Arizona State University students that African-Americans “don’t blend in,” and subsequently lost a House of Representatives chairmanship over the comments.

Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli said Saturday, Dec. 1, that Stringer is no longer an effective representative for the residents of Prescott, while Mayor Pro Tem Billie Orr called Stringer’s comments “horrific,” and said she plans to push for a call by the City Council for Stringer’s resignation from the Arizona State Legislature.

In a written statement Saturday, Mengarelli said: “On November 3rd, I spoke out against anti-Semitism in the wake of the Pittsburgh shootings at the Yavapai Courthouse vigil. Today, I speak out against the racially disparaging remarks that David Stringer made on Nov. 19 at ASU. Mr. Stringer and his remarks do not represent my values nor those of my family. Mr. Stringer is not fit to hold public office.”

The comments by Mengarelli and Orr prompted a Twitter response of support by Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk on Sunday.

“Kudos to Prescott Mayor & Vice-Mayor for ethical leadership,” Polk’s tweet stated. “I call upon all Republican officials to demand the resignation of Rep. Stringer. We are better than this. Silence is complicity.”

Capitol Media and The Associated Press report that Stringer’s comments prompted Republican House Speaker Rusty Bowers to tell Stringer on Friday to resign from his role as chairman of the House Sentencing and Recidivism Reform.

In recorded comments that were published by the Phoenix New Times on Friday, Stringer can be heard comparing America’s early immigrants from Europe with later immigrants from African countries such as Somalia.

“They were all European,” Stringer said of the early immigrants. “So after their second or third generation, everybody looks the same; everybody talks the same. That’s not the case with African-Americans and other racial groups because they don’t melt in. They don’t blend in. They always look different.”

Stringer also can be heard referring to “white flight” from communities such as Detroit and Baltimore, and the “burden” that he said non-native English speakers place on the U.S.

City Attorney Jon Paladini said it was his opinion that a council position on the issue needed to be compiled in a public session in order to follow the “spirit and the letter” of the Arizona Open Meeting Law.

Stringer declined to comment on the matter late Saturday.

Tuesday’s City Council meeting will take place at Prescott City Hall, 201 S. Cortez St.

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