Council Asks Legality of Nativity Scene
The Cambridge City Council last night asked the city solicitor to investigate the effect on a Brattle Square Nativity scene decoration of a recent U.S. District Court ruling in Rhode Island.
The Christmas decoration, owned by Cambridge, is erected annually on municipal property at the intersection of Mt. Auburn and Brattle Streets
But in deciding a similar case, the Rhode Island court ruled last week that the city of Pawtucket, R.I., could not construct a Nativity scene on municipal property
Assistant City Manager Richard Rossi told the eight councilors. "The reason [the scene] was put up is because historically it has been put up."
But Councilor David E. Sullivan, who brought the matter before the council, said he has received complaints about the decoration from "several individuals."
"It's not that I have anything against Christmas," explained Sullivan, "but I like to comply with the Constitution if possible."
In other activity, the council unanimously passed a resolution congratulating Councilor Saundra Graham for being named one of 10 "women of the year" by the Boston chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW).
Graham, who also represents the 28th Middlesex district in the state legislature, was praised by NOW for her advocacy in child care, welfare rights, affirmative action and tenants' rights, and her chairmanship of the Massachusetts Black Legislative Caucus.