Council Unites Against Online LGBTQ+ Hate Speech

In a display of unity against online hate speech, the Elmwood Park Borough Council recently convened to discuss and denounce bigotry, harassment, and discrimination, particularly targeting the LGBTQ+ community. The discussion was ignited by the circulation of an offensive post on a local social media page, “Elmwood Park Speaks,” resulting in a resolution R-291-23 aimed at condemning platforms that enable such discriminatory behavior.

The offensive post was authored by Gigi Hayes, directed at Councilman Francesco Fasolo, and involved derogatory remarks with implications of pedophilia. Fasolo found support from his fellow council members, who were united in their rejection of such hate speech.

The social media page where the post was shared is administered by Pamela Troisi, a 2022 Republican candidate for Elmwood Park Council who ran against Fasolo.

Council members engaged in speeches, condemning these comments and apologizing to Fasolo on behalf of the community. They pledged to promote inclusivity, acceptance, and respect. This sentiment was echoed throughout the council, with members affirming their rights to express their opinions against such egregious comments and holding community leaders responsible for the actions of their associates. A unanimous sentiment emerged emphasizing that remarks trivializing pedophilia should not be treated as political talking points.

The council’s resolution, R-291-23, was clear in its intent – to denounce hate speech based on race, ethnicity, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and other protected characteristics. The resolution upheld Elmwood Park’s commitment to promoting diversity, providing equitable opportunities, and rejecting hate and bias, and called upon residents to adopt these values.

The role of social media in the spread of hate speech sparked a debate, with council members both decrying its misuse and advocating for positive and respectful dialogue. The council criticized the administrators of “Elmwood Park Speaks” for not removing hateful content and questioned the suitability of such people to lead the community.

Amidst the discussions, Councilman Fasolo stood strong, reassuring the LGBTQ+ community of their place and voice in Elmwood Park. “Those comments do not stand for the majority of the residents of Elmwood Park,” he declared, “we are loving people, we are a strong community, we are a welcoming community.”

A public speaking segment triggered a contentious debate over free speech, with allegations of hate speech being defended as First Amendment rights by Hayes. These assertions were met with strong rebukes from council members, who argued that hate speech does not fall under protected speech.

While the council meeting was largely dominated by the discussion on hate speech, other items of note included Councilman Golabeck’s positive update about federal funding for a local street lighting project and Councilwoman Pellegrine’s enthusiasm about future community events.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Not avaliable:

City Council Officials:

Receive debriefs about local meetings in your inbox weekly:

Trending meetings
across the country:

Meeting Date
Filter by bodytypes
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Airport Advisory Board
Art and Culture Board
Beach Committee
Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Board of Elections
Board of Health
Borough Council
Building Committee
Cannabis Control Board
Cemetery Commission
Charter Revision Commission
Child and Family Services Board
City Council
City Identity Committee
Code Enforcement Board
College Board of Trustees
Community Appearance Board
Community Preservation Committee
Community Redevelopment Agency
County Council
Disability Advisory Committee
Economic Development Board
Elderly Affairs Board
Electric Advisory Board
Environmental Commission
Financial Oversight Board
Historic Preservation Commission
Housing Authority
Human Relations Committee
Human Resources Committee
Insurance Fund
Land Use Board
Library Board
Licensing Board
Mental Health Commission
Municipal Alliance
Open Space Commission
Oversight and Review Committee
Parking Authority
Parks and Gardens Commission
Parks Commission
Pension Board
Planning Board
Police Review Board
Property Assessment Board
Public Safety Committee
Recreation Commission
Redevelopment Agency
Rent Control Board
Rent Leveling Board
School Board
Sewerage Authority
Shade Tree Commission
Special Magistrate
Taxation & Revenue Advisory Committee
Tourism Board
Trails Committee
Transportation Board
Utility Board
Value Adjustment Board
Veterans Committee
Water Control Board
Women's Advisory Committee
Youth Advisory Committee
Zoning Board
Filter by County
Bay County
Bradford County
Brevard County
Broward County
Clay County
Duval County
Escambia County
Gulf County
Hendry County
Highlands County
Hillsborough County
Indian River County
Lake County
Lee County
Leon County
Levy County
Liberty County
Manatee County
Marion County
Martin County
Miami-Dade County
Monroe County
Okaloosa County
Orange County
Osceola County
Palm Beach County
Pasco County
Pinellas County
Polk County
Putnam County
Santa Rosa County
Sarasota County
Seminole County
St. Johns County
Taylor County
Volusia County
Walton County
Barnstable County
Berkshire County
Bristol County
Essex County
Franklin County
Hampden County
Hampshire County
Middlesex County
Norfolk County
Plymouth County
Suffolk County
Worcester County
Atlantic County
Bergen County
Burlington County
Camden County
Cape May County
Cumberland County
Essex County
Gloucester County
Hudson County
Hunterdon County
Mercer County
Middlesex County
Monmouth County
Morris County
Ocean County
Passaic County
Somerset County
Sussex County
Union County
Warren County
Filter by sourcetypes