Town Meeting 2021

2021 Town Meeting Announcement

The town meeting is on June 5th, 2021 at Grafton High School, starting at 11:00 a.m.

Grafton RISE has two citizens' petitions on the agenda and we would appreciate your attendance and support!

Our articles are #43 and #44 on the agenda, so they will fall towards the second half of the meeting.

Please click here if you want to be texted when the RISE articles will be voted on.

Replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day

What are we asking for ?

See if the Town of Grafton will vote to amend Article 20 4-19 Personal Bylaw, of the General Bylaws of the Town of Grafton, by replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Why is Columbus Day a problem?

Columbus Day perpetuates the myth that the land was available for settlement. Millions of indigenous Peoples populated North America and the islands (such as Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard).

Christopher Columbus and his crew brought violence, disease, imperialism, and colonization to the Americas. He killed, tortured, enslaved, and dehumanized Indigenous people. Land was stolen. Racist ideas took root and flourished, influencing the power structures and societal norms in North America and the West Indies in ways that still affect us today. We are not trying to change or cancel history. We are asking for recognition of truth, rather than the Whitewashed history upon which our country developed.

We have the opportunity to support Indigenous People and voices, and to correct our previous inaccurate depictions of those we have long regarded as heroes. Let us celebrate Indigenous people, rather than Columbus.

Please come to the Annual Grafton Town Meeting on Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. on the Grafton High School football field to vote.

We must listen to the individuals, communities, and cultures that are negatively affected by promoting a man who was, by today’s moral standards, evil. Replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day decenters the narrative of Columbus and centers it instead as a day of remembrance, education, awareness, and celebration of Indigenous People.

This is nothing new. Indigenous communities have been pushing for this change for decades all over the United States. Be a part of the change.


Please come to the Annual Grafton Town Meeting on Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. on the Grafton High School football field to vote.

What are we asking for?

See if the Town will vote to amend article 20 4-19 Personal Bylaw, of the General Bylaws of the Town of Grafton by adding the holiday Juneteenth between Memorial Day and Independence Day, to align with the Massachusetts' state holiday.

Why it is necessary ?

Juneteenth marks the day when Federal troops arrived in Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been signed by President Lincoln two and a half years earlier.

This important day has been celebrated by African Americans since the 1800’s. Marked by festivals, pilgrimages, and prayer, Juneteenth is observed in most States and the District of Columbia. In June of 2020, Massachusetts joined other states who recognize Juneteenth as a State Holiday. In his proclamation, Governor Baker stated the importance of recognizing "...the continued need to ensure racial freedom and equality."

The complexity of the Civil War and the events which ended slavery cannot be understated. For many slaves, freedom did not come when the Emancipation took effect on January 1, 1863. Although volumes have been written on the horrors of slavery and the discrimination and violence endured by African Americans after it ended, there are no National holidays dedicated for reflection upon these issues. This Whitewashed view of history perpetuates the racial inequities we see today.

Observing Juneteenth as a state holiday adds more than a paid holiday; it affirms the continued struggle for racial equality in America.