February 8, 2021

Getting to Know Your Neighbor- Part 1

This is very near and dear to my heart because it focuses on the controversy within the community I live in and reveals steps on how to reconcile differences. My hope is that this series will encourage us to be more open-minded about getting to know the neighbors we are called to love. The story focuses on a controversial yet Constitutionally protected matter, freedom of speech. It’s not every day that the national headline stories are taking place in your own back yard. Much of what is discussed echoes collective fears about the erosion of rights.

If you are interested in joining the discussion, please contact me directly so that we can set up a date to record. It's very important that all perspectives are considered compassionately. I hope to bring you as many views as possible surrounding this topic.
Change can only come by way of conversation. If we want to see change, locally or nationally, we must be willing to share space and speak to others, as humans, not as socially situated identities.

In this first part of the series, we will start off with the Olivia City Council Meeting Minutes from January 18th, 2021. It begins at the 1 hour 21-minute mark of the meeting. This is Item H. on the Agenda and it pertains to an upcoming guest’s yard sign. I want you to listen to this section of the meeting with an open mind. There were so many things that stood out to me that I will opine on later in the series, but for now, I want you, the listeners, to have the same information and hear the same exchanges that I did when I first started investigating this story. It’s about 23 minutes long. Afterward, I will offer my initial thoughts- things that stood out to me that I took notes on and had questions about.

From there, we will embark on a series of interviews that I conducted with city council members, city officials, the sign owner, and others who wanted to speak to the controversy creating a conflict within our community. If you want to be a part of the conversation, please email me at Danielle.kingstrom@live .com, or find me on social media: Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, also on LinkedIn.

For now, the questions I shall pose will require reflection, and I invite you to reflect on them along with me. I hope to try to answer these questions by the end of the series, but it could be that new ones arise, or none of them are answered at all. If you believe you have an answer, please let me know.

Here are the questions I will leave for you to consider:

What does a civilized society look like? Who decides what is and is not civilized?
If we do not exercise our rights, will we lose them?
If we have the right to do things, does that mean we ought to?
What are shared values and who determines what is valuable?
Can we agree to disagree?

Listeners, as always, I ask you to compassionately consider the perspective of The City of Olivia. Enjoy the episode.

Thank you to the Olivia City Council for their hard work and efforts on a truly difficult and challenging matter. 

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