I want to talk to you today about the recent demonstrations in our city. They were spurred, as in cities across the nation, by the death of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement in Minneapolis, as well as other attacks on people of color.
First, thank you to those people who marched to stand up for an end to racism, both institutionalized and interpersonal, wherever it appears, either here in Paso Robles or elsewhere. I am forming a Mayor’s Diversity Panel to discuss this issue and make recommendations to the City Council as well as county, state and federal representatives.
Second, thank you to the marchers and people in our community with different perspectives, for respecting each others’ rights, lives, and property. There was no violence.
Finally, a word about social media. Many of you have sent me a short video of a man brandishing a whip. It is deeply disturbing. No members of our Police Department appear in this video. If they had been present at this location they would have intervened. Our Police Department is committed to building trust and keeping our community safe. Please know the actions of the man in this video do not represent the principles and values of our community.
In this era of social media it is all too easy to brand rumor as reporting. It’s hard to know what is true and it’s easy to click a link. Please, be careful what you post and tweet. Social media can be a powerful tool for communication but also has the potential for great harm.
This time of pandemic and social strife has put us all under extreme emotional, financial and spiritual pressure. Our humanity and our nation are being tested. They must endure and flourish.
In every crisis, opportunity exists. Today we have the opportunity to heal long-standing wounds, correct persistent injustice and make true our claim that “we are all in this together.”
Until we blog again, stay informed, stay involved and stay strong Paso Robles.