When this campaign started, I didn’t intend to make race an issue I would address directly at the start. However, we don’t always get to choose the circumstances in which we find ourselves.
So I’d like to take a moment to address the events happening in our city and throughout the nation by telling you where I stand.
I do not tolerate racism. In any form.
I am invested in racial equity and will use my voice to fight for it.
I stand firm with the Black Lives Matter movement.
I know that silence is complicity, and so I want to make it clear that:
I see you. I am with you. Your lives matter.
Saying these things is not enough, because intention without action is meaningless. We must be proactive. We must be anti-racist. And we must listen to our Black friends and neighbors as they speak their truth, because they need to be heard. And when they have said their piece, find where we can be a part of the solution and be a meaningful ally to work for social justice.
The problems in this country concerning race started long before the lost lives of Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Dion Johnson, and countless others. During these times of high racial tension it is easy to feel overwhelmed and that things will only get worse. Those out on the streets are angry and seek justice, and they are right to.
If we can come out on the other side of this with not only justice, but true meaningful progress towards racial equity, then this becomes the start of something beautiful and not just another ugly chapter in our shared history.
Maybe this time when the smoke settles and the violence subsides, we find empathy, kindness and hopefully forgiveness in one another.
This might seem too far out of our reach right now, but I'm ready to work hard to get us there.
This campaign will seek diversity, equity and inclusion to ensure our city works for everybody.
I will do the work. I will listen with an open heart. I will try harder. I will speak up when things are not right, and I will learn. I hope and pray we all will.