I’ve become increasingly disheartened and concerned as I’ve watched the recent events across our country these past few nights. Last night, these violent protests reached our community here in Raleigh.
Earlier this summer, I went downtown and spoke with peaceful protesters on several occasions. While we may have shared some political differences, we engaged in meaningful dialogue about the issues facing our county, state, and nation. I learned something from them, and they learned something from me. At the end of each discussion, we always valued the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation, and we appreciated the fact that everyone was expressing their concerns in peaceful and productive ways.
Later protests in our city became violent, and these protests are now being seen again here in Raleigh. Let me be perfectly clear. The violence, destruction, and lawlessness that we saw last night have absolutely no place here in our community. We all have a duty to stand up for law and order. Upholding public safety throughout our community, and country, is paramount as we seek to rebuild following an unprecedented global pandemic. I urge protesters to do what I did earlier this year: engage in meaningful conversation and dialogue with those around you. Don’t tear down our community as we seek to improve and rebuild. Make your voices heard, but do so peacefully.
Above all else, remember that our community is best when we’re brought together by what unites us. We are all part of one #WakeStrong family determined to build the best community for everyone.
This November, I hope that you’ll remember that we need leaders who will always be willing to listen and support the right to peacefully assemble, but who will ensure that law and order are upheld to keep our communities safe.