First, I must say that I write this as an individual who happens to be Executive Director of Amazing Things–the Board may or may not agree with me.

Today, February 16, has been called A Day Without Immigrants, a nationwide voluntary “strike” to highlight how much we as individuals, businesses, consumers and residents depend on immigrants in our work, our shopping, our schools.  One of my favorite parts of being at Amazing Things is that we are located in downtown Framingham–why? Because it’s so rich with cultural diversity from the faces on the street, to the shops and particularly to the restaurants.  People often presume everything downtown is Brazilian–and yes, we have wonderful Brazilian bakeries, shops, restaurants (and coffee!!).  But we also have Colombian, Mexican, Indian, Vietnamese–I’m sure I’m missing some.  The languages heard are from all over the world.  It’s what makes this a very special place, in an otherwise rather monochromatic Metrowest.

I learned about the “strike” when I went to Frescafe for my favorite breakfast–and found it locked up.  Sad, but not annoyed.  This is important.  This is why it has to be done.  So we appreciate on a very personal scale what all these folks who chose to come here, to my neighborhood, from all over the world, do to make this a wonderful place to work.  Don’t let this immigration ban be a faceless act from Washington.  It will impact our neighbors, our classmates, our customers.

Tomorrow, when the “strike” is over, I will go into one of these businesses and say thank you for being here.  I will say I appreciate all you bring to our downtown, and I hope you feel my support every single day.