Before last night, when I attended an especially informative, engaging, polite and massively well-attended community meeting about sanctuary city status, I never realized just how much our community at large looks to Langley for guidance and support.
Yes, we provide restaurants, shops, entertainment, services, associated jobs and friendship to a broader island population. But more than that, while many do not share our incorporated status or vote here, they do consider themselves part of Langley. In an important way, they are Langley stakeholders, and we must remember and even celebrate their inclusion. Drawn to our environs by Langley’s compelling reputation for inclusivity, fair play, kindness and compassion, the island’s diverse population looks to Langley for leadership.
So when America teeters on the brink of political upheaval by a federal administration leaning toward fascism and oppression, as Fran Abel said in her recent viewpoint, it is vitally important that we “answer the question now, before we need to answer it under fear and pressure.”
What kind of community are we? Langley is a good and kind-hearted community, to be sure. But in this political climate, is that enough? What will it take for us to have a rebellious spirit? To boldly stand up to oppressors? To protect and wrap “a protective hug” with a legal resolution around those who feel and are vulnerable?
Should we choose to become a sanctuary city, Langley will be in good company. More than 600 localities around the country have done so. Even Oregon has declared itself a sanctuary state. The numbers are growing and are a powerful declaration that America will stand up to fear and oppression. We will stand by our most vulnerable residents.
The ACLU attorney-panelist last night felt that we have one more powerful piece on our side: the United States Constitution. With the Constitution’s protection, I urge Langley City Council to adopt a sanctuary city resolution.