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May 20, 2017     West Seattle Herald
South Park residents fight back against fear-inciting fliers
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May 20, 2017

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South Park residents fight back against fear-inciting fliers | West Seattle Herald / White Center News Skip to Main Content Area Saturday, May 20, 2017 | Clear sky, 71.6 °F search Letters Sign in Subscribe Contact Us Front Page News Features Sports Opinion Police Blotter West Seattle development; How many apartments, how many parking spaces? By Gwen Davis It’s the infamous story of Seattle: too many cars ... Westside-O-Rama West Seattle Entertainment Guide Admiral Theater 2343 California Ave. S.W. 938-3456 Movie ... West Seattle enters quarterfinals with 2-1 soccer victory over Stadium By Tim Clinton SPORTS EDITOR West Seattle opened state Class ... Amanda's View: Colosseum and memoriam By Amanda Knox Approaching Century Link Field in a throng of ... Police Blotter week of 5-15-17 Man arrested for firing gun in park Around 11:30 p.m. on Wed., ... News Daystar Retirement Village celebrates its five centenarians residents South Park residents fight back against fear-inciting fliers Mayor Murray and Seattle City Council nominate appointees for the Community Involvement Commission West Seattle development; How many apartments, how many parking spaces? Easy Street Records celebrating life and career of Chris Cornell Introducing West Seattle High School Career Tech students to the 13th Year Promise Scholarship Shalimar Gonzales, shaking things up at the West Seattle YMCA UPDATE: Grunge icon former West Seattle resident Chris Cornell dead at 52; Death ruled a suicide Neighbors invited to Highland Park Find It, Fix It Community Walk Four story, 47 unit apartment project proposed for 2715-2719 California Ave. SW Murder suspect Billy D. Williams being sought by King County Sheriff for White Center killing Four story 600 plus unit storage facility proposed for Harbor Ave. SW Glo Dental Studio celebrates opening with a ribbon cutting Final list of restaurants for Taste of West Seattle is out: 40 of the best will participate May 25 "Bowling for Bowlies" will raise money for White Center Jubilee Days Final traffic study on Fauntleroy Blvd. Project released: Project will start in December and be completed in 2019 Former Sergeant with sustained finding of dishonesty sues King County Sheriff's office UPDATE: Seattle Consignment announces closure after only 8 months in business; All inventory on sale Gayle Ann Seyl TrASH Thursday will be your chance to help clean up West Seattle 62 unit apartment building with 29 parking spaces up for early design review On the Go Week of 5-15-17 Is Your Portfolio “Healthy”? Redmond based 'Augmented Reality' game staging treasure hunt in West Seattle, Ballard and other neighborhoods May 20 Roxbury sidewalk work will close lanes starting later this month Lindsay PeytonSouth Park resident Brad Cerenzia is fighting back against fliers printed in his neighborhood that feature a number to call “for fast deportation of illegal immigrants.” He spends time cruising the area, tearing down signs he finds offensive and replacing them with a more positive message. His neighborhood has joined together in an effort to make everyone feel welcome. South Park residents fight back against fear-inciting fliers 05/20/2017 updated 1 minute ago By Lindsay Peyton Brad Cerenzia works from his home in South Park – which makes it easy to keep an eye on the neighborhood. It’s not that he has an axe to grind. He simply wants to protect the community where he has lived for a number of years, a place and a population that he has grown to love. When Cerenzia has a few minutes to take a break from his day job, he hops on his bike and cruises the streets. He’s on a mission to remove fliers that have been stapled to street posts that feature a number to call “for fast deportation of illegal immigrants.” And when Cerenzia tears down a sign, he replaces it with one of his own, reading “Welcome to South Park. Wherever you’re from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor.” Cerenzia posts copies of the flier in Spanish and Vietnamese as well. It all started three or four weeks ago, when Cerenzia learned about the first sign on Facebook. A few neighbors banded together to discuss what to do. “We decided as a group to tear it down,” Cerenzia said. “We also wanted to counter this person’s posts.” The neighbors all agreed that the language was antagonistic and designed to scare immigrants and refugees. Lashanna Williams was part of the group. “The sign is mean and makes people feel excluded and scared, like they don’t belong,” she said. The neighbors then designed their own signs with a smiling Statue of Liberty. Williams found printers to donate copies of the sign. In total, the group printed 1,400 fliers. “We shared them with each other, people came by to pick the fliers up and we went to town,” Cerenzia said. The message was simple. “Wherever you’re from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor,” Cerenzia said. “I’m glad to stand up for my neighbors.” He doesn’t blame area residents for being afraid to speak up – and he’s happy to fight on their behalf. “I know people who are terrified to leave their house,” he said. “It really matters when you stand up for someone who doesn’t have a voice, whether it’s because they don’t speak English or they’re scared of their neighbors or because they’ve lived 40 years of terror in their country and just want to be left alone.” Williams is also often in the neighborhood hanging signs. She places her fliers next to the ones she finds offensive. “We can coexist,” she said. “It feels important to know that people like this are in our neighborhood. May it make the fabric of us even stronger.” Cerenzia hopes that taking action against bigotry is contagious. His reception, however, hasn’t been all positive. He says some people have told him that he is stifling the other sign-maker’s free speech. “You’re welcome to say anything you like – and you’re also welcome to the consequences of that,” Cerenzia said. “I want people to know that they don’t have to – and they shouldn’t – accept hateful behavior in this community. I would much rather have a spirit of hope in our neighborhood than allow this message of fear.” We encourage our readers to comment. No registration is required. We ask that you keep your comments free of profanity and keep them civil. They are moderated and objectionable comments will be removed. View the discussion thread. 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