Many Hopewell Valley residents woke to find their lawn signs missing, earlier this month. The signs included statements “Hate Doesn’t Live Here,” “Hate Has No Home Here,” and “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor.”
According to the Hopewell Township Police Department, Officers responded to multiple addresses on March 12 and March 13 for reports of theft. Residents from Pennington Hopewell Road, Carter Road, Harbourton Woodsville Road, North Greenwood Avenue, Taylor Terrace, Windsor Way and Columbia Avenue reported that lawn signs had been taken from in front of their homes. Some signs were taken during the overnight hours of March 11, while others were taken during the day on March 12.
The signs were printed by Hopewell Valley based social advocacy group, Hope Rises Up, as a non-partisan message of equality and tolerance. With regard to the organization, co-founder Heidi Wilenius shared, “In short, we strive to make political and social advocacy accessible on the local level. We are not duplicating work, but aiming to partner individual volunteers and existing organizations. And we also offer some of our own programming, when we see a need.”
Hope Rises Up will be hosting “Discussing Politics in a Highly Partisan Era,” this Sunday, March 26th, which will touch upon how to remain respectful and friendly with those you do not agree with politically (and even how to handle political discussions at family gatherings without tears and anger). The discussion will be lead by Heather Ferino, Social Studies Teacher in Bernards Township School District, who has presented this talk at Rutgers University. For information on that event, see this link.
Anyone with information regarding the sign thefts is asked to contact the Hopewell Township Police Department at 609-737-3100.