Over the past year we have all been tested with some of the darkest days in democracy. While the worldwide pandemic continually rages through our communities, taking so many of our loved ones with it, we also collectively felt the shock of seeing American citizens storm the bastion of our free and representative government. I do not think anyone could have predicted that just a year ago we would have to answer the call to rebuff a challenge to the peaceful transfer of power; one of the most important foundational elements to the nonviolent continuation of our democracy. While we cannot, and will not, ever forget what transpired, we must move on and ensure the ugliness of the recent past never repeats itself. With an eye on Washington DC, first and foremost, it is time for our diverse community to heal and recover.
Whether you applaud or lambast the changes forthcoming with a new Administration, let us not overlook the work that needs to be done right here at home. While we do not need to agree on what got us here, the fact remains, we are all here. Our small businesses are on life support, restaurants and bars are closing permanently, our children are learning online, the vaccine rollout has not met expectation, and yet we also must address systemic racism, the digital divide, affordable housing/homelessness, behavioral health, and the list goes on and on. Our community needs us all, and we will fail if many of us continue to emulate destructive conversations found on the internet. Respectful discord will always be a part of our fabric as a society and anything else should be condemned.
It seems like everywhere you turn there are poignant quotes being used from famous historical figures to try and sum up the times. Personally, I think back to a much simpler adage, “If you aren’t helping, you are hurting.” We all must dig in and help, as complacency hurts. To pull our community out of this dark time will require all facets of our population to get our businesses back open, our kids in schools, and vaccines so we can accomplish so much more. Let us remain vigilant in beating the virus but let us not continue to beat basic decency. The generations to come will judge us all on how we handle this moment and I ask that we meet the challenge head on, together.
Let’s stand and work with great significance together to make the South Sound the most equitable and inclusive place to do business in Washington state.
President & CEO
Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber
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