When you take leadership in a city or town, you don’t always get to pick and choose which issues you must make decisions about. But sometimes, when there is an issue you are personally interested in or there is a moral or practical imperative, you bring it up and discuss it and, if not come to agreement or compromise, you at least put your name on record as to your position. Some issues come to the leadership from finance, some from municipal employees (including police), some are petitioned by constituents and some come to our communities from history.

How could you sit on a city council and ignore and vilify inequity among those you represent? How could you sit on a school board and not send a message of support and protection for students of color? Voters should think about this when they vote for a representative to City Council. Demonstrating a willingness to bring a broader, more compassionate and comprehensive perspective to governing is needed in our global society.

We cannot afford to hide behind denial of social change. We can no longer afford to focus only on budgets and widgets. The problems our residents deal with every day, like discrimination against them, sub-standard housing or raising a child with a learning disability, have a place in civic conversations and municipal government decision-making. Addressing those and any other issue with reasoned consideration and respect for opposing positions is the democratic process and ideals we must work toward.

Joelen Mulvaney


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