On Jan. 6, 2021, and in response to the insurrection that took place at our nation’s Capitol, leaders across Benton and Linn counties united to condemn the violence and domestic terrorism that occurred in Washington, D.C., and earlier at our state Capitol in Salem.
I was grateful to see that Albany’s Mayor Alex Johnson II and my Ward III City Councilor, Marilyn Smith, signed onto the statement condemning violence, together with community, religious and school leaders in our region. I am saddened and angry that not a single Linn County commissioner (John Lindsey, Sherrie Sprenger, Roger Nyquist) nor my state representative (Shelly Boshart Davis) signed on to the statement.
Neither did our county’s chief law enforcement official, Doug Marteeny, condemn these criminal actions. On Dec. 21, Rep. Boshart Davis wrote that she was “processing” the violence and vandalism at our state Capitol. Many of the comments from her constituents and our neighbors were disturbing: excusing the violence as an inevitable outcome of frustration. Violence should never be an inevitable outcome of frustration, nor should it be excused. Leaders: Your words matter!
Your constituents are listening! Instead of staying silent, stand up against violence and domestic terrorism. You know it is the right thing to do, and this moment in history offers a unique opportunity to actually build bridges instead of fomenting hatred.