Letter to the Editor, June 25, 2020

We need to listen to one another

This week: reopening the economy, protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in police custody…it has been a week.

In all of this, we, as a community must listen to one another. We do not need knee jerk reactions driven by emotion, or political considerations. We need “leaders” to act in the interests of people they represent not in the interests of expediency, politics or party.

To represent a diverse community of people, we need to be able to listen and consider each other’s points of view. We must be able to talk to one another without fear of reprisal or personal attacks.

This is true on the issues of COVID-19 and reopening the economy. We must listen to business owners trying to navigate fear of losing their life’s work or not being able to put food on the table and the health of their employees and customers. We must listen to parents of children at high risk of death if they are infected with this virus and children with parents in high risk groups. We must listen to “essential” workers who are exposing themselves and their families to increased risk.

This is true on the issue of police reform. We must listen to people who have been affected by excessive force, over policing and proactive policing policies. We need to listen to police officers, corrections officers and law enforcement officials who are doing their best to serve and protect all communities. We must look at policies and practices that have unintended consequences for communities of color. We must make the effort it takes to truly listen.

We must listen to each other to find solutions that consider all perspectives. Although we cannot accommodate everyone in every decision, each of us deserves to be heard, to have our perspective considered.

Liz Terwilliger

Warren Center