Dear Councilman Bob Kellar:
I wish to make an important statement. As a resident of Valencia since 2006, I am an active citizen and care about my community and the people who live here. For the record, I am a middle-aged white woman.
On March 24, 2018, I stood with local students of March For Our Lives when they rallied against what happened in Parkland. On Aug. 12, 2019, I sent a heartfelt letter to the City Council regarding the ominous timing of an outdoor sporting goods store that opened in the wake of the mass shootings of Gilroy and El Paso. On Nov. 14, 2019, two minutes from my home, I woke up to a helicopter permanently occupying the skies above Saugus High School where our community added our own hashtag to the national experience of gun violence. With all of these events and their emotionally charged residue still fresh upon my psyche, I find myself feeling that I must write again with these events in the background heavy on my heart.
I am deeply affected by the demonstrated impact of our youth protesting for Black Lives Matter over the last few weeks. These young people are smart, independent, organized and fed up. They are fed up with a world that is full of adults who are lethal to their welfare. They are fed up with a gun culture, a policing culture, a racist culture that props up the rich, morally corrupt and indifferent white citizenry at the expense of non-whites and in particular, the black community. I too, am fed up. This is an old problem and is connected to every challenge we are experiencing in 2020.
The time has come for Santa Clarita to update itself by addressing racism head-on, not just rejecting it, but proactively turn anti-racist from this point forward. This requires that all council members make a public statement against racism by acknowledging it as an American systemic problem and swear to do what is required to dismantle and deconstruct all city-wide racist policies and norms. This is a powerful opportunity for Santa Clarita to become an anti-racist leader for the country. There is a lot of work ahead and I demand to see that our city leaders take this moment seriously and hold their past words accountable. There is no more time for arrogant stances that are petty and impotent.
Mr. Kellar, I want you to personally stand up against racism, choose the right side of history, prove to your community and constituents that you are strong enough to do the right thing under the American Constitution. Change must start with the system itself and how we treat each other. Do it now.
I thank you for your service and expect a response.
Lisa M. McDougald