Earlier today, Mayor Jacques Roy joined others in the community at the Alexandria City Hall for a service honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Roy spoke about the need for inclusiveness as a model for growth, at times invoking the words of the late King to underscore the message of “diversity in action.”
“I believe we are commanded to implement a model for inclusiveness in our City, and the Administration and City Council are committed to bring you diversity in action, a renewal of smart, community-based planning for our City which includes consideration of the needs and ideas of all citizens, not just a few, and I am personally committed, as is my team and our Council, to show those who refuse to recognize the moral necessity of our shared vision for action, inspired by the Reverend Doctor, to recognize the absolute necessity for it based on economic grounds—that is the vision we talked about at the inaugural event of proving that diversity works; inclusiveness makes money; community-based planning positively affects cities,” Roy said. “No, Reverend Doctor, there is a new deposit in the bank of justice. The bank of justice is not bankrupt, Reverend Dr. King, and we will be together as a community to ensure the promissory note known as the Declaration of Independence, in your words, is not a check which comes back marked insufficient funds, but one delivering the funds of economic promise, justice, and inclusiveness owed to all citizens. Echoing the Reverend Doctor, NOW IS the time for our city to move forward, not later influenced by the ‘the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.’”
Roy also warned against the “twin destroyers of progress: complacency and fear.”
“Complacency is the negative force which allows people to sit back and do nothing, to be disengaged from the community and avoid making things better,” Roy said. “Make a promise to yourselves to be engaged in Alexandria, to meet new people, to meet new folks from different walks of life, to break bread with those folks, and to create a long-term relationship with them. The other destroyer, fear, is even worse. It is mostly a reaction to the unknown, and it works together with complacency to allow us to sit back and let fear control us because we do not want to do the work—to do the heavy lifting. We must not let fear take over, and we must arm ourselves with education—culturally, academically, and spiritually. We must not have the fear which disallows us to consider new opinions and new models about how working together can be beneficial to our city.”