Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a moment for us to reflect on a man who changed the course of history. Dr. King taught us to dream of a better tomorrow, to respect our neighbors, and to love one another. His legacy has been weighing on my heart all throughout the last year. Today, I was honored to join and offer remarks at the Spokane Martin Luther King Jr. Day Event. I was reminded that we can all pledge to be better neighbors and to build up our communities when anger and fear threaten to divide us and tear us down.
I’ve been a lot of thinking lately about everything that is going on in our country, and the word I keep coming back to is “unity.” How it takes each one of us doing our part to make a difference in our community, and how to learn to disagree without being disagreeable. We may not always agree with one another, but we can all come together and find common ground. I’m committed to working to create change and progress here in Eastern Washington.
Last year, with fellow Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, I signed a commitment to civility and pledged to do my part to restore civility in my community and our country. That’s why over the past year I have been working to serve as a unifying force here in our community. I’ve been hosting Unity Dinners in Eastern Washington to hear people’s stories and talk about how we bring our community together, as well as share the commitment I signed with my colleagues. As we sip our coffee and eat our dinner, we share stories about what led us to live in our city, how we met our spouses, what we studied in college, and what our dreams are for our community. One conversation leads to another, and by the end of the evening we’ve made new friends.
Last year, I also joined in the foundation of the Peaceful Communities Roundtable, bringing together local leaders from a diverse set of backgrounds to talk about the community we want to see and how we get there.
The Peaceful Communities Roundtables and Unity Dinners have been the unexpected highlight of the last year for me. That’s why I’d like to challenge each one of you to join me in a commitment to civility. Join me in my Congressional commitment to return to civility here in Eastern Washington, and hopefully, through respecting each person’s dignity and desire for a better life, we can lead in spreading civility throughout our state, our country, and our world.
My first challenge for you all is to take someone to coffee you don’t agree with or someone who seems sad or angry. Is there someone who comes to mind? Someone who you’ve never taken the time to get to know? Who you maybe wouldn’t otherwise spend time with? I encourage you to reach out. Grab a cup of coffee together. Post about it or tweet about it, and tag me. Use #Return2civility to share it with others. I hope you’ll be inspired–that you’ll be reminded there’s a lot of good people in the world, even if you may sometimes disagree with them on one thing, or on everything.
It takes each one of us doing our part, and I encourage you to join me in this Congressional commitment to civility. My mission is to restore trust and confidence in representative government. If you ever have questions about what I’m working on or want to have your voice heard, never hesitate to contact my office. Or you can follow along on Facebook or Twitter for real time updates and the latest news. And don’t forget to subscribe to my weekly email newsletter by clicking here.