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.”

10 thoughts

  1. It’s nice to hear these sort of words coming from our leaders.

    I personally am very thankful that I grew up in Alexandria. It’s really the most diversly balanced city in this part of the country. Aside from 2 or 3 small neighborhoods, we don’t have all-black or all-white areas. Majority white Pinville has a black mayor, majority black Alexandria has a white one. Even simple things like this speak worlds about our community.

    We’re from Cenla — where not only the roads and highways of the state all intercest but where all the cultures and subcultures do as well. This crossing of French South Louisiana with Anglo-American North Louisiana, black with white, Mississippi planter with Texas cowboy — it’s what makes our community what it is — that is the true ‘Crossroads’.

    We do have our problems, but go to any other city in Louisiana and you’ll see the massive divides (South Baton Rouge and Scottlandville, Northside and Southside Lafayette, Monroe and West Monroe, Uptown and the Wards in New Orleans. We should really take time to think how lucky we are in Alexandria that your neighbors can be black, white, Korean, or Botswanan on the same street and most people barely notice, much less care.

  2. agreed. a lot to think about and be proud of. Also, I’m still giggling over your newly coined word “intercest.” What an interesting slip of the tongue!

  3. LOL…I looked at that too and wished for an edit button but then just laughed.

    btw sophie…

    I’ve seen ‘sophiesrain’ on other sites as well for screenname. Are you originally from Alex? I know there’s a book by that title as well.

  4. Yes, I’m from Alex. Have lived here for 90% of my life.

    And the movie is called Sophie’s Choice starring Meryl Streep.

    I don’t know exactly where I got the name; it just popped into my mind when I was starting to write on blogs. Didn’t actually think about the movie at the time. Other forums I look at and write to is “Believer, Un-Believer, Ex-Believer” and others that deal with amiable and honest religious debate on Delphi forums.

  5. Mayor Roy is on the mark and we as a community really function better than most give credit. The temptation to dismiss others due to the color of their skin is still a strong temptation, but one that will be overcome by our common interest and continued cooperation. I felt relief when Mayor Roy announced his candidacy and in good hands in the aftermath of his victory. May this be the time when people are no longer judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.

  6. May this be the time when people are no longer judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.


  7. Am I the only one who thinks that the “bank of justice” becoming an extended metaphor is a little over the top?

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