Opinion | Breckenridge Town Council: We stand in solidarity with the fight against racial injustice
Jeffrey Bergeron, Dick Carleton, Gary Gallagher, Erin Gigliello, Dennis Kuhn and Kelly Owens, council members
We are dismayed by the killing of George Floyd, along with those like Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. Some have called it a “wake-up call.” We, your Breckenridge Town Council, understand that this alarm has been sounding for a long time. We condemn those who participate in this long thread of injustice and understand that all communities, including Breckenridge, must face our racial history and reality, understand the scale and severity with which racial injustice continues to occur, and continue to pursue justice in all its reimagined forms. The Breckenridge Town Council stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight against racial injustice.
We are encouraged by the action we are witnessing locally and nationally. We believe this must translate into better representational government, more just institutions and more engagement in community building. We know the process to achieve social equity will require continued long-term focus and attention, and the Breckenridge Town Council is committing to achieve successful social equity outcomes for all. By standing in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and all disenfranchised groups, we hope that our broad spectrum of visitors and community members will see what we unequivocally support and encourage all people to join us.
We recognize that in many ways, knowingly or unknowingly, we may contribute to these systems that are not representative and do not equally advocate for all. At the town of Breckenridge, we want to build a better world for all members of our community. We acknowledge the contributions of people of color in Breckenridge, who are often downplayed, overlooked, discriminated against and under-appreciated. We understand that bias and injustice shows up in myriad ways, including health care, employment and housing. We, the Town Council, believe it is our work to bridge the gaps in our community. We ask forgiveness for the ways that we have been blind to these inequities in the past and for your support as we work to create a more inclusive and socially just Summit County. Our goal is to create a more equitable Breckenridge, and we ask you to join us in this incredibly important mission.
Staff of the Breckenridge Police Department receive extensive training focused on community relations, serving the mentally ill, implicit bias, fair and impartial policing and deescalation tactics. As a town government, we continue to pursue the construction, purchase and creation of affordable housing. As we endeavor to bridge any gaps of opportunity in our community, we are creating the Breckenridge Social Equity Advisory Commission seeking to engage diverse participation in Breckenridge civic life and create specific strategies and policies for a more equitable Breckenridge.
There are many ways for you, a local resident, to be involved in the work for racial justice and social equity. We encourage you to participate in local, statewide and national elections to make your voice heard, contact your legislators to correct inequitable laws, run for office or serve on local committees and task forces, fill out the 2020 census for better representation, and continue to do the hard work of uncovering biases and deconstructing racism. We all have a responsibility for inward reflection to educate ourselves and hold ourselves accountable. We, the Breckenridge Town Council, ask you to hold us accountable, as well.
We are eager for this new equitable Breckenridge to become a reality and are unwavering in our dedication to its fruition.
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