I was raised on the streets of Langley. As a small child I scurried up the bluff underneath Sam and Trav’s pipe shop. I pranced around the stage of the Clyde in “FOOLS” and Whidbey Children’s Theater. I spent many a teenage Friday night on the bench with my pals in front of the Dog House. I eventually left the island for a couple of decades, then returned a few years ago during a difficult period, in no small part because it is the place where I feel most safe, accepted, and loved.
I’m so proud of our already inclusive community. Gay or straight, old or young, white or brown, many people come here because they feel safe here too. Safe from discrimination, from judgment, safe to be themselves.
What we have here is wonderful, but it can be better. We can do better.
Not everyone experiences this community as a safe place. In a time of heightened anxiety and uncertainty about the future, the most marginalized among us are living in fear.
Let’s build on the incredible loving foundation we have in Langley and take the next step of becoming an inclusive city. Let’s tell the people who are most at risk under a totalitarian regime — Muslims, immigrants, or those simply exercising their right to free speech — that they are safe here. Let’s reaffirm, for each other and for the world, that Langley won’t be bullied.
Let’s work together — citizens, mayor, city council, Langley police — to craft and implement an inclusive city ordinance of which we can all be proud. Let’s make Langley a safe place for all.