Letters: Sanctuary city, Supreme Court
Como se dice 'stand strong'?
I think I probably have "como se dice" spelled wrong, as my command of the Spanish language is below that of a 3-year-old native-speaker. However, it is a direct quote from my brief comments at the city of Forest Grove public hearing on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, concerning the urgent need to become a supporter of ALL of our human population by resolving to publicly act as a Sanctuary City.
I went on to tell a short story of my time as a teacher in inner city Portland Public Schools — 23 years — and developing a classroom program there that was a blend of a very diverse population of children and their families. Our one rule for how we wanted to be as members of that class was KIND. It was a highly successful program and eventually spread to the whole school and on to other schools and districts in Oregon. My point, of course, was that it was a microcosm of what our city of Forest Grove can now become: a multicultural, thriving, united, purposeful group of the people who call this "home."
At this point, we have an opportunity to build such an ideal home to include all of us "homies." We can build unity around the principles of inclusion, home, safety, care, equity and an ongoing celebration of our special talents and gifts. All of this can be found in using KIND as a method to achieve unity. This can become our strength, built on the common ideas of sanctuary. Who could believe that our nation now even needs to debate the use of a word, sanctuary, and its implications? And yet, here we all are, struggling to Stand Strong — TOGETHER.
It's clear that you, as our elected local government officials, must reach far inside your personal beliefs to determine how you will vote to withstand our country's newly elected president's Declaration of Division. We homies — both rural and urban — are ready to celebrate our holding Sanctuary City status, and are ready to work to make it more than just words and promises. Thank you for your consideration of what your positive vote will mean to all of us, now and in the future.
We, the people, are Standing Strong.
(This letter came before the council vote.)
'No' voters not courageous
After attending the Forest Grove City Council meeting on January 23, I'd like to thank councilors Malynda Wenzl, Elena Uhing and Mayor Pete Truax for their support for the Sanctuary resolution. Especially, I'd like to recognize Councilor Wenzl for her commitment and willingness to fight for what's right, as well as Mayor Truax for his leadership.
On the other hand, I was very disappointed by councilors Matt Vandehey, Tim Rippe and Ron Thompson for their lack of support for this resolution. Their litany of reasons for going against it went all over the place: afraid of losing federal funding, afraid of politicizing the issue, afraid of pitting senior citizens against the Latino community, etc. As I watched them read off their papers and declare that they will be the first to rescue a Latino student in distress, it looked to me as though they wanted to hide behind their papers and their many reasons, and somehow emerge from it as individuals of great courage and judgment.
The bottom line is that councilors Vandehey, Rippe and Thompson did not want to ruffle any feathers. As such, I am not sure they are capable of representing our entire community, including the Latino community.
Sadly, our current administration in Washington, D.C., is mounting a frontal attack to our democracy and civil rights. The fight to preserve democracy and liberty will be long and hard, and starts right here in our community.
Oppose Trump's 'radical' Supreme Court pick
As a faith leader, I must oppose the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch is an extremist with little regard for the lives of religious minorities and is unfit for the court. He sees religious freedom as only applicable to the Christian majority when the Constitution affirms the rights of the minority in our society.
There is every reason to believe that Judge Gorsuch would be a voice of opposition to voting rights, and the rights of women to make their own health care decisions. For these reasons and more, I call on my fellow faith leaders to oppose his nomination and for the United States Senate to reject Donald Trump's radical pick for the Supreme Court.
This is a pick meant to further divide our nation when we need leaders willing to bring us together. Judge Gorsuch cannot be counted on the defend the Constitution or the common good of the United States.
Rev. Chuck Currie
Director, Center of Peace
Pacific University, Forest Grove