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Letters to the Editor 7/15/21

Guest Opinion: Redmond City Council needs to take a strong stance against the Confederate flag

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Editor's note:

Summer is in full swing! The return of events like Munch and Music and Summer Fest this past week was a marker that things are more "normal" than they've been in the past year—but beyond that feeling of normalcy was just the plain joy that comes from hearing live music, from seeing the excitement of the musicians and feeling the rush of a crowd all dancing together. Even I, who spends a lot of time focused on the events that populate our calendar, was not expecting to feel the overwhelming comradery that came from being among so many happy revelers. Our calendar this week is once again packed with tons of fun. Enjoy your week!

@alexis_vaughan went out to capture the Milky Way and ended up with a shot of the Bootleg wildfire as well. Thanks for sharing and stay safe out there! Tag us @sourceweekly for your chance to be featured here and in the Cascades Reader. Plus, get a free print from @highdesertframeworks! - @ALEXIS_VAUGHAN / INSTAGRAM
  • @alexis_vaughan / Instagram
  • @alexis_vaughan went out to capture the Milky Way and ended up with a shot of the Bootleg wildfire as well. Thanks for sharing and stay safe out there! Tag us @sourceweekly for your chance to be featured here and in the Cascades Reader. Plus, get a free print from @highdesertframeworks!

Guest Opinion: Redmond City Council needs to take a strong stance against the Confederate flag

I want to express my sincere concern in regard to the 4th of July celebration sponsored by Redmond Chamber of Commerce. We all are aware or should be aware that Independence Day celebrates our independence from the British. We also are well aware what the Confederate flag really stands for in America today.

The 4th of July celebration in Redmond was tarnished by this hate symbol being exhibited and there is no logical way to explain away why this was allowed. I received numerous emails on my city iPad as well as my personal iPad and citizens and visitors to our city were very upset and disturbed about seeing it. They used words and expressions such as shocked, cast a serious cloud over Redmond's bright future, shocked to see Confederate flags, and tears in my eyes and deeply saddened for community and children, just to mention a few. This is a disgrace and embarrassing to not only the City of Redmond, but a reflection of our Council as well and this is unacceptable.

I have been asked why this was allowed to occur. I responded by saying that I think people invoke the Confederate flag because they want to endorse on some level, secretly or subconsciously, the very rationale for the Confederacy. When people say heritage not hate, they are omitting the obvious, which is that that very heritage is hate. When someone says it's about history, that particular history is inseparable from hate, because it is about hate. It's about racism, and it's about slavery.

I want to be very clear that I object to that flag being flown during celebrations in Redmond and I do not condone it.  I don't condone it because it's a reflection of the great treason of the South in the 19th century and of its secession from the Union in Defense of Slavery, and its rejection of Patriotism and Nationalism. Based on political principles, that flag is a distinct reminder that the South was once a rebellious and treasonous actor on the global stage, a history that will never be erased.

That flag was revitalized / resurrected in the 1940s and 1950s as part of a massive resistance campaign against the Civil Rights Movement.  It wouldn't even exist in our national popular culture without this moment, when African Americans fought for their equality, and the battle flag was recovered and redeployed as a symbol of opposition to it.  Let's be clear, it's impossible to embrace the Confederate flag without explicitly or implicitly promoting racism, plain and simple.

We, Redmond City Council, need to take a strong stance against this ever being allowed in any City or Chamber celebrations in the future.  It is a violation of the expectations in place for parade participants and violates rule #5 which relates to family friendly and a-political events. It also violates Redmond's Proclamation Against Racism and to refresh our memories here are just two that we have failed to live up to.

WHEREAS, as public servants we have an even greater responsibility to speak out against racism, discrimination, bias, and hatred because when the unacceptable becomes the norm in our society, human rights for all are threatened and

WHEREAS, hate will not be tolerated, we will stand together to fight any form of bigotry, discrimination, or hate, in speech or action, against any group, from whatever source.

In closing, I want to pose a question to all of my City Council Colleagues: are we going to honor the proclamation we put into place or will we fail to fulfill our commitment to our City? This is not a black or white issue, this is a human rights issue and it is our job to ensure that our citizens are able to live and work in a safe environment.  

Respectfully,
Clifford B. Evelyn Sr.
Redmond City Councilor

— This is a reprint of the July 7 letter Evelyn sent to his colleagues on the Redmond City Council.

Thank you, Senator Wyden

As drought, extreme heat and warnings about wildfires dominate the news, I was gratified to participate in a virtual Town Hall with Senator Ron Wyden and learn about The Clean Energy for America Act—legislation Wyden has spearheaded as the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. Recognizing that tax policy IS energy policy, Wyden and numerous co-sponsors seek to overhaul the federal energy tax code.

The current code is counterproductive. It is skewed in favor of the already massively profitable fossil fuel industry and rewards polluters for contributing to climate chaos and destroying our planet. Existing tax provisions include a morass of more than 40 temporary, confusing and hence unreliable credits for climate smart expenditures. The Clean Energy for America Act tosses these aside, replacing them with emissions-based, technology-neutral credits to spur investment in clean electricity, clean transportation and energy conservation. It has specific provisions to address opportunities in each of these realms. The Clean Energy for America Act would incentivize emissions reduction, and in so doing combat climate change and create good-paying jobs.

I view Wyden's ambitious and laudable approach as complimentary to the President's American Jobs Plan, an overdue investment in America that will create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country's crumbling infrastructure, and also address climate change.

As Senator Wyden wisely and passionately acknowledged, future generations cannot afford further delay. Let our Senators know we support this effort.

—Connie Peterson

Letter of the Week:

Connie: Thanks for the heads up on this important legislation. Come on in for your gift card to Palate!

—Nicole Vulcan

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