In response to the police killing of George Floyd, the League of Women Voters of the United States issued a call to action to the 700-plus state and local league units in the U.S., including the 200-plus members of the League of Women Voters of Duluth.
We acknowledge the league hasn’t always taken a strong stand against racism in the past, but as we move forward we commit to listen to the voices of people of color and their leaders who are spearheading systemic change. Our 200-plus members in Duluth stand ready to work with our government officials and the community to pass meaningful reforms that will address systemic racism, which we believe is at the heart of tragic killings that disproportionately target Black people.
The league acknowledges, painfully, that America is a nation founded on racism. Therefore, we — as an organization whose mission is to educate, advocate, and reform — are mandated to actively work for anti-racist policies at every level of government to achieve full liberation and inclusive freedom.
We stand in witness to Black and Brown people’s grief and sadness in seeking justice for George Floyd and his family.
As a voting-rights organization, we echo the call of our partners at the NAACP: We must all vote in November. The road to change lies at the ballot box.
Finally, the systems of oppression that have perpetuated the myth of white supremacy in our country must be dismantled if we are ever to become the nation we aspire to be — indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Martin Luther King, Jr. once said.
The writer is co-president of the League of Women Voters of Duluth. This letter was written by its members, she said, and was also signed by fellow board members Sandy Grandmaison (co-president), Barbara Johnson, Theresa O’Gara, Gwen Thorson, Nancy Aldridge, Jane Hovland, Gay Trachsel, Gail Nouska, Mary Faulkner, Sue DeNio, Karin Haidos, Pat Castellano, Julie Seidelmann, and Ellen Wiss.