During Juneteenth, Pride, stand with neighbors

In uncertain times, the most enduring qualities for a community are hope and trust. While people may be battered by the waves of indecency and struggle, a mission of hope, and of peace, can heal; can bind; can hold.

We, the undersigned, wish to bring to bear these qualities, to be providers of peace in times of unprecedented loss. We come to you, our constituents and our neighbors, to offer our love, our support, and our kinship.

As Juneteenth was just celebrated this past weekend, and we continue to celebrate Pride throughout June, it is increasingly important and necessary to establish, in no uncertain terms, through our vision of a welcoming, safe community, a few self-evident truths: everyone is our neighbor and is deserving of respect, dignity, love, and support; we are called to be allies, protectors, and defenders; that attempts to disturb and disrupt such a family unit with polluted discourse and irreverent displays of ignorance will be met with resistance, with love and passion, and with action; and that this is who we are through to the core, unwavering, unabashed and unafraid.

Recent news would have us believe that a pendulum swing is in effect when it comes to the civil rights of our marginalized communities. This is not the case. We stand, resolute, firm in our beliefs that no one person can stand in judgement of their neighbor, no entity can deny the rights of another, and no space can be considered wholesome and good without the good of a community in fact being whole.

We proudly respond as young Isaiah did when asked by the Lord to shepherd his people, “Here I am, send me.” Here we are. To our communities who believe they need a voice, we will provide for you to speak. To our children who are afraid of what this world may have to offer them, we will provide safe harbor. To our fellow friends and neighbors living free and living proud, we love you and we can’t wait to celebrate with you. You are deserving of all that this life has to offer, and we will support and defend you, be it in life, in the newspapers, at work, through policy, in our words and deeds. Always.

Stay safe. Stay strong. With love and in solidarity.

Signed by: Jan Schuette and Debora Nelson, Arlington City Council; Vivian Olson, Edmonds City Council; Mary Fossee and Paula Rhyne, Everett City Council; Cassie Franklin, Everett mayor; Jordan Sears, Goldbar City Council, Anji Jorstand and Mary Dickenson, Lake Stevens City Council; Tami Kinney, Monroe City Council; Geoffrey Thomas, Monoe mayor; Louis Harris, Elizabeth Crawford, Richard Emery, Riaz Khan and Tom Jordal, Mukilteo City Council; David Flynn, Lea Anne Burke, Tom Merrill and Karen Guzak, Snohomish City Council; Linda Redmon, Snohomish mayor; Megan Dunn, Stephanie Wright and Jared Mead, Snohomish County Council; Dave Somers, Snohomish County executive; Linda Hjelle, Snohomish County assessor; Emily Wicks, 38th District state representative; April Berg, 44th District state representative; and June Robinson, 38th District state senator,

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