Florida Keys

After Trump victory, one city leader turns to a three-word mantra

President-elect Donald Trump’s victory has spurred Key West to take up a city motto.
President-elect Donald Trump’s victory has spurred Key West to take up a city motto.

Almost a month after Donald J. Trump won the presidential election, one Key West city commissioner wants the island to reaffirm its official motto, One Human Family.

“Residents and visitors are encouraged to embody and express the city’s official philosophy of ‘One Human Family,’ by actively caring about one another and resisting any efforts to demonize neighbors, take political revenge, legislate discrimination, or hate and fear of our fellow members of the community,” according to the proposal by Commissioner Sam Kaufman.

Commissioners meet Tuesday at Old City Hall, 510 Greene St., starting at 6 p.m. with the item up for a vote, but one elected leader would like to Key West to go further and follow San Francisco’s lead to declare itself a sanctuary city that welcomes all people.

“I would like to see us declare ourselves a sanctuary city,” said Commissioner Jimmy Weekley. “I would like to see us do that, really send a message out: We’re going to protect everyone.”

Weekley, who was mayor when the One Human Family motto was adopted in 2000, said he is working on a proposal to outlaw so-called gay-to-straight conversion therapy of children in the city.

Key West leaders have often taken up national and world issues by issuing official opinions, such as an April 2015 resolution calling for a ban on city-paid travel to Indiana in light of the state’s “religious freedom” law backed by then-Gov. Mike Pence, who is the now vice president-elect.

Kaufman’s proposal, which also quotes the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., reads, “A democratic society excludes no one because that makes the whole weaker.”

The One Human Family motto was created in 2000 by Key West artist J.T. Thompson. By 2008, he had printed and distributed 1 million of the free black-and-white stickers throughout the world and turned the three-word mantra into a movement.

Then-mayor Weekley signed the original proclamation on Oct. 17, 2000, as the George W. Bush-Al Gore fight for the White House wore on and city leaders expressed dismay at what they called the us-versus-them viewpoints “presented to us daily in the media, entertainment and news.”

Sixteen years later, even the 2000 election seems tame compared to the most recent presidential race in which former Secretary of State and Democratic U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but could not collect the electoral votes needed to best the businessman Trump, the Republicans’ nominee.

In response to Trump’s victory, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution reaffirming its stance on health care, climate change and civil rights, saying, “We build bridges, not walls,” and that, “Black Lives Matter in San Francisco, even if they may not in the White House.”

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