Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email editor@wausaupilotandreview.com or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.

Dear editor,

There are not two equal sides for and against the Marathon County resolution, “A Community For All.” You either support a more inclusive welcoming and equitable community or you don’t.

In 2021, I expect community leaders, specifically the Marathon County Board of Supervisors, to know better and do what is right and lead with that to pass this resolution.

The resolution “A Community For All” is a starting point. A statement of commitment by local government to recognize that inclusion and equity are import to create a healthy, safe, prosperous community. The data supports there is room for improvement in our county and is similar to data from counties throughout the state and the country. Additional new data from the 2020 census clearly shows a changing demographic in Marathon County.

Sadly, instead of the Marathon County board acknowledging the clear positive impact of this resolution, several county board members, along with the local Republican Party and some chamber of commerce members chose instead to take issue with the resolution by politicizing it, by making it about the left vs. the right.

Accusations from the people who opposed the resolution came hard and fast and accused supporters of “A Community for All” of being Marxists, Nazis, of being racist against white men…they accused members of the LGBTQ+ community of supporting pedophilia? At a recent Marathon County Board meeting a local business owner called a 13 year old child, speaking in favor of the resolution, a “fag,” loud enough for residents in the gallery to hear.

Who are these people? Do they speak for you? Is this who we are as a community? Does their anger and their horrific, hurtful words represent you? I know they don’t represent me. Fear is a powerful motivator. We fear what we don’t understand and many, I’m afraid, truly just fear becoming the minority.

Don’t let the loudest voices drown out the rest of the good people who live here. There is no change without accountability. It’s time for everyone to step up and be heard.

The Final Vote is Tomorrow Night! Please write, call or email your Marathon County Board supervisor and tell them to support “A Community For All”….

Christine Salm, Wausau