Last night, I was with the congregation of Temple Beth Shalom in Spokane. Together, we prayed for strength for the Jewish community in Pittsburgh and for their friends and families. We also prayed for a return to civility and for peace. That requires everyone doing their part to see the best in others, not the worst. It requires not giving into fear, and requires protecting and preserving the values we so deeply cherish as a nation.
This is not a nation of antisemitism. This is not a nation of violence and hatred. America is where you are free to speak, free to worship, and free to dream — and we must stand up to anyone or anything that tries to prevent that.
That’s why, in a time where there is so much anger and hostility – when the political discourse and rhetoric threaten to tear our communities apart – I have made it a priority to bring people together and work to bridge the gaps that divide us. My goal is to help lead the healing that needs to happen in our country and in our community.
Over the past year, I’ve been hosting Unity Dinners with people throughout Eastern Washington. The dinner table has a way of breaking down barriers between people. Everyone has a story to share. Many people have experienced deep pain, heartache and loss whether financial, health or family. But by being kind and caring for one another, we can offer each other hope and encouragement to continue on.
I have also co-hosted the Peaceful Community Roundtable here in Spokane to bring a diverse group of leaders together and discuss priorities for Spokane to build a stronger, safer community. We don’t just talk about problems, we talk about solutions.
It’s important to remember that there is more that unites us than divides us. Our shared values of liberty, justice, and equality of opportunity are stronger than anything. We can’t and shouldn’t go at it alone.