They want to be heard

The tapestry that is American is weaved with a multitude of colors and textures. That is the beauty of our country—and our community. Keizer has as many different residents as any other part of America. Democracy gives all people a voice in society and how it is shaped for the benefit of all.

That has been demonstrated by citizens who have shared their strong beliefs with the Keizer City Council over recent weeks. The issue of equality and inclusivity has been addressed by Keizerites at council sessions.

The testimony from citizens was heart-felt and emotional, some citing their personal experiences with racism. The councilors were not unmoved, but the issues will come up again and again as long as some feel that they are not being heard.

The response from some councilors is there is work to be done to make Keizer a community that values every citizen and respects people for who they are and how they live their lives. That’s what America is about. Many of the remarks to the council came as a result of the Keizer Pride event held at Chalmers Jones Park on June 12. Some wondered why Pride rainbow flags could not be flown at city hall. 

Governments at every level across the United States fly pride flags as well as other acknowledgements of the LGBTQ+ community. These displays of support are just that, support. It is no different than flying POW/MIA flags. 

The council sets city policy. Councilors can acknowledge all types of people, recognizing the months throughout the year that highlight the accomplishments and achievements of those in LGBTQ+ community, Hispanics, Russians, military veterans, differently-abled, etc. Everyone is worthy of value and respect. If the council can recognize Juneteenth, then recognizing other days and months should be axiomatic.       —LAZ