#Local Government
City Council and Mayor of New Bedford, MA
United States of America

A Petition to Restore Grilling in New Bedford Parks

New Bedford, MA is a city with deep cultural ties to its land and waters. It is a city built on the back of the whaling industry and fisheries. We are connected through family, community and culture. For generations our public parks and beaches were the places where we would gather to share in community, love and laughter every summer.
As I grew up I watched in horror as our beaches were contaminated by corporate greed and the blatant disregard for the health and well-being of our people. No longer could our children play and swim in the same water their parents did at one time. Economically this would prove to be a disaster beyond our collective imaginations as we witnessed our best and brightest leave this city and deprive us of the intellectual contributions we would have otherwise benefitted from.
When it came time for the cleanup of these waters, we would not benefit from the jobs it would create either. And now to add insult to injury, they want to take away the simple act of grilling in the park - The one thing that still connects us to this land and water. A simple function of our ability to gather and share and remember what it was like when we were growing up.
For decades, my father would plan an annual cook-out where everyone was welcome. He would say, “Don’t bring a thing, just show up.” This event would bring family and friends together. Passersby were welcome too! Given a plate of food and some friendly conversation. He would grill from the time the park opened up until it was time to go home. When he passed 6 years ago, my brother and sisters decided we would continue this tradition of giving in his name and we started the Benjamin Duarte Memorial Cookout. All he wanted was for us to be together in love, family and laughter. It is also worth noting my father worked for the city of New Bedford and cleaned that same park where we would gather. The mayor came to his funeral. He was a war veteran and a man that was loved by everyone, known for his generous spirit and infectious smile. He loved to cook and was brilliant at it.
Upon planning this year’s event in his honor, we learned that the city was banning grilling in the parks. No longer would our community already devastated by the pollution that was allowed to be dumped in our waters and land, no longer fit for swimming or fishing. Now, you deny us the simple act of grilling.
We the undersigned, call on the city council and Mayor Mitchell to eliminate the ban on grilling in our parks. Our parks that our tax dollars pay for. The parks belong to the people.
If you agree and support this initiative please sign this petition to re-instate grilling in our parks. Thank you for your support.

We the undersigned, call on the New Bedford City Council and the Mayor Mitchell to eliminate the ban on grilling in our public parks immediately.

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The Grilling In New Bedford Public Parks petition to City Council and Mayor of New Bedford, MA was written by Rhonda Barrett and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.