As we prepare to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King on Monday and the inauguration of a new administration on the 20th, we are on guard as a Nation and as a community. The events at the Capitol on January 6th were both frightening and eye-opening. The white supremacist movement has been emboldened and is convinced they have been aggrieved.

I am not blind to the fact that these factions also exist here. Black Lives Matter and political signs have been vandalized. The sheriff’s department is preparing for a Stop the Steal demonstration in Friday Harbor on the 20th.

As a very small community, we tend to turn a polite eye away from conflict. We want to keep the peace and not ruffle feathers. That is no longer sufficient. If we strive to be a community rooted in compassion and justice, we need to shine a light on actions that threaten those values. It is a challenge, but we are up for it. We need to speak out, and not just on social media. A true dialog requires more and there will be no change without a dialog.

Whatever the week brings, the goal is to move forward with strength and equity. I hope you read the article about the work of the Community Emergency Response team in the Sounder this week. That team includes everyone who has donated, volunteered, served on a board, or as staff for these amazing programs that have helped so many. This is the kind of community we work for. I am deeply grateful for each of you!

Stay well.