not in our town II | Not in Our Town

not in our town II

As hate infiltrated the Northern California town of Novato when an Asian man was stabbed at a local supermarket, residents not only stood by the victim’s side—several grocery clerks chased down the assailant.     The residents’ heroic response was documented in Not In Out Town II, and has left a lasting impression of a community that comes together in times of trouble.      Since then, “trouble” has revisited Novato, and it has several faces: First, an ongoing debate over high-density affordable housing and increased crime prompted one local newspaper to dub Novato the “City of Rage” and has left a divisive tone at city hall as well as within the community.    But when anti-immigration activist Jerome Ghigliotti was arrested for disturbing a city council meeting after the council refused to put a measure requiring Novato contractors to E-Verify the legal status of employees on the ballot, underlying tensions became palpable.