Neighborly Napa shows signs of support during tense political times
NAPA, Calif. (KTVU) - Yard signs expressing support for immigrants are showing up in the Bay Area and around the nation. They're small, about the size of a "For Sale" sign on a house.
But they convey a powerful, and for some, controversial, message.
"No matter where you're from, we're glad to be your neighbor," reads one sign in both English and Spanish.
"I've sold about 150 of them," Peggy Cann of Napa told KTVU, of the sign, posted in her front yard.
She liked it so much, she ordered a stack of them to share, at $5 each, to cover the cost of producing them.
"I mentioned them at church and 25 people wanted one," Cann noted.
She and her husband live along busy Lincoln Avenue, and Cann says the simple message in two languages reflects the Napa she knows.
"Here, people come from Spanish-speaking countries as well as English- speaking countries and it feels like our neighborhood," she explained.
Across town, there is another sign, with a different style, but the same sentiment.
"Oh I love it, it's in three languages, " Karen Dias of Napa exclaimed, as she paused to take a look. "That's beautiful, isn't that neat?"
The three-color sign is in English, Spanish and Arabic, expressing an almost-identical message:
"No matter where you are from, we're glad you're our neighbor."
The sign is tucked in the bushes at the intersection of Redwood Road and Linda Vista Avenue, which carries heavy traffic.
People stopped at the light may not even notice the sign. But those walking past, have time to take it in.
"It's kind of like how we raised our children, that your neighbors are your neighbors and it doesn't matter where they came from," passerby Linda Rogers told KTVU, "so you all learn to get along and kids play together."
Simplistic in today's world ? Not to the high school English teacher who ordered the tri-lingual sign
"I want everyone to know they are still welcome, and we're not concerned or second-guessing them," Emily Ciabattari told KTVU.
Ciabattari found her sign on Facebook, and ordered it through a Mennonite church in Virginia that came up with the signs during the presidential campaign and now ships them nationwide, for about $20 each.
"One time it got knocked over, and I thought, whoaaa," smiled Ciabattari.
For more than a month, the sign has been undisturbed, a symbol of support for immigrants. Ciabattari has relatives who are U.S. citizens, Muslim, and live overseas. She knows her loved ones are apprehensive about international travel, and she does not support newly-restrictive travel rules.
"Everyone's in. The Statue of Liberty said 'Give me your huddled masses', she didn't say give me the ones I like," declared Ciabattari.
"Or the ones who talk like me or think like me or believe like me." Both women are thrilled to see more signs like theirs spreading in Napa.
And for Cann, the most touching response so far?
A UPS driver, a Latino man, who came to their door, not with a delivery, but because of the sign.
"He walked up to the door, he knocked at the door, he pointed at the sign and tears started coming," described Nick Cann, "and I just told him, 'I love you.'"