Visalia says no to "In God We Trust" in council chambers

EMBED </>More Videos

The possibility of putting In God We Trust in Visalia's city council chambers has been on Steve Nelsen's mind for a long time. (KFSN)

The possibility of putting In God We Trust in Visalia's city council chambers has been on Steve Nelsen's mind for a long time.

He requested it is on the agenda for Monday night's council meeting, but it didn't go so well. All other council members opposed the idea, and the handful of speakers from the public did as well.

"I look at it as a national motto of who we are," Nelsen said. "It's a patriotic motto, it encompasses everything."

In a divided time for the country, Nelsen says his intent was to unify Visalia -- a city, he says, is religiously diverse.

The city of Fresno recently added the phrase to their council chambers. Besides being on their wall, it's also Porterville's official motto, as approved by voters in 2008. The non-profit of the same name also lists Dinuba as having the motto in their chambers.

"The four of us felt that this was not the right message to send to our community," said Visalia Vice-Mayor Bob Link, who voted no. "That there's a better message to be sent that we're united..."

"It's not a stop sign," Nelsen said. "Everybody's still welcome, all faiths are welcome. If you don't believe in God, that's fine too. We're a wide open council chamber and everybody should feel free to come in."

Though he lost the battle, Nelsen says he's encouraged by supportive e-mails he's received and looks forward to talking about adding the phrase again in the future.

"Looking backwards, I think it was positive," he said. "And I will continue to fight for it, and I will continue to march to do that."

Related Topics:
politicspoliticsgovernmentvisaliacaliforniaCalifornia
(Copyright ©2017 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments
POLITICS
More politics

POLITICS
More Politics

Top Stories
Show More