FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2021
Statement from Mayor Noble
Regarding Recent Defacement of Public Property:
The YMCA Farm Project supports a group of
high school students who have been learning about gardening and agriculture,
and are working to increase access
to fresh, local foods through farm stands throughout Midtown. The YMCA Farm
Project employs the young people who work on the farm, run the farm stands,
lead educational programs, and beautify the community.
about food insecurity and the needs of our community, the YMCA Farm Project
students have become acutely aware of racial inequities. These high school
students have been inspired to create a pop-up memorial to Black Americans who
have lost their lives to police violence, and as a part of their beautifying
efforts -- with approval from the Mayor and the Kingston Police Department --
have painted utility boxes throughout the City of Kingston.
Yesterday, for at least the fourth time, a
utility box painted by the YMCA Farm Project students was defaced. The mural,
which depicted Black Lives Matter imagery, was painted by these high school
students who have a passion for their community and their beliefs. The City was
aware of the mural and granted full permission.
Vandalizing in our community will not
stand. The defacement is clearly a hateful act, and will be handled
accordingly. Detectives of the Kingston Police Department are actively working the
case. If you saw anything yesterday afternoon between 3:00 pm and 10:00pm or
have any information, please call the Kingston Police Department at
Please join me in commending the teens who
make up the YMCA Farm Project and its leaders, who have continued to proudly
re-paint after each vandalizing. The resilience that these students have shown
in the face of hate is an inspiration and a beacon of hope for us all.