Read the full October 2020 Newsletter Here.
We’ve forgotten that our differences were once the foundation of our strength. Our government was built upon opposing views – structurally, systematically, and ideologically. The biggest crisis of today is not one of policy, but of division. We should not be celebrating Democratic wins or Republican wins, but wins where both parties contribute something. And yes, we may have drastically different views on what makes this country better, but if we don’t preserve our right to debate those views in a civil manner, then we are choosing a failed future. This month, this day, we have the incredible opportunity to choose between autocracy and civil discourse, between division and unification, between our future and our past. We are the United States, and though it may feel impossible to imagine a future in which we are working together again, it has to be our goal.
Four years ago, I opened these doors on October 31st, 2016, eight days before our irreconcilable split. I know this is a business, and I know Bend is divided in political views, and I know I should probably not encourage political decision on this platform, but if I can ask you for one thing, one time, in celebration of our own anniversary, it is to vote. To make the choice between what is right and what is easy. And it won’t be easy to bring us back together in conversation, but we have to start with someone willing to attempt the hard work of communicating. We have to recover our ability to compromise, understand another point of view, protect, celebrate, and help each other – left or right, north or south, middle or coastal, black or white, metro or rural, rich or poor, faithful or faithless, young or old, conservative or liberal – because we are all American citizens, we all deserve to live in peace here, to be treated respectfully, to have trust in our government, and we all deserve the pursuit of happiness, the dream of a better future.
I am sorry for the hatred and the anger and the division that we have all created. I don’t think this is the vision of the United States that any of us hold, and both parties have made mistakes. So let's make one right decision, together. And then another, and another, and another. And I promise to listen to you and hold your views as precious as my own, and to encourage our political leaders to do the same. I sill believe that together we can rebuild an America we can all be proud of again. If each of us makes the choice to be better than our predecessors, to find the middle road, to listen, to learn and understand, to compromise, to treat each other like neighbors instead of enemies, and to work together to build solutions, we may just find a way forward that we can all live with.
The last opportunity to register to vote in Oregon is October 13th. Visit sos.oregon.gov/voting to check your status. Please vote early.
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