TEMPLATE: Introduce Yourself to City Officials
Updated: Nov 16, 2020
The term I chose to guide my actions in 2020 was "follow through". I haven't been doing enough of it. While I love words, I’m still stumbling to find the ones that convey my guilt and disgust with the years - hundred of years - of complacency. Racism is still alive and well FAR beyond what’s televised or videotaped or caught on camera. Whether we talk about the disparities in COVID-19 outcomes disproportionately affecting Black communities or the murders of #GeorgeFloyd #AhmaudArbery #BreonnaTaylor #FreddieGray, how do we (read: white ppl) have the audacity to maintain the status quo? I will never understand the Black experience, but I vow to stand with the Black community because our privilege is silent but deadly.
To my white followers: We need to feel personally responsible. We need to feel responsible for learning about the history and structure of racism. We need to combat our own white fragility and have the hard discussions with family members and friends. We need to take action to fix a problem that we created. Yes, WE. So long as we benefit, we hold blame. I don’t consider myself a bad person for being white - but I do consider myself responsible for covertly upholding barriers, resisting change, and staying silent. White privilege in the news is forceful and violent. White privilege in everyday life is silent but still deadly. No more.
After a discussion with MacKenzie of MackInThese.com about civic engagement, I emailed and introduced myself to my District's City Council Member. If you're in Baltimore, find your District and City Council Member HERE. You can also find the list of City Council Committees, upcoming meetings open to the public + agendas, and minutes from previous meetings.
Here's a modified version of template I found online:
Introduce Yourself to City Officials
Please note: Handwritten letters are best. Make sure you make a copy of your letter. If handwritten, simply take a photo of your letter and email it to yourself.
Dear Mayor/Council Member (name),
Hello! My name is (name), and I am your constituent in (name of city or district). I live at and have children. I am a member/student of (organization/institution) (with optional details). I’d love to personally introduce myself as I’m learning more about my local government and how I can help you make our community more (resilient/livable/equitable/adjective of choice) for the future. In the next few days I will reach out to your office for an appointment. I look forward to meeting you soon.
I’m committing to active learning. Reading, listening, and showing up to spaces where I will be uncomfortable. Where you choose to show up may look different, but it’s imperative that we put in the work. Learn. Ask. Acknowledge. Support. Donate.
Here are additional Anti-Racism resources so you can get uncomfortable too.
More to come,