Joint Statement on the Election
The composition of Monroe County is diverse. Our neighbors are Republican and Democrat, black, brown, and white. Our county population is 167,000 strong. That is 167,000 life stories. 167,000 individuals with hopes and dreams. 167,000 affected by the impact of COVID-19, cancers, racial inequity, drug misuse and many other horrible factors. While other communities focus on the “divides”, we are asking Monroe County to respond, respectfully. There is plenty of strife in the world. The NAACP, Pocono Mountains United Way, and local and state police departments request unification before and after the presidential election.
Former President George W. Bush recently stated “We’re human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God. We rise or fall together. And we’re determined to rise.” We agree.
Recently, the NAACP, United Way, and police departments began meeting to focus on the strengths of Monroe County and how best to serve and protect. This plan includes cultural competency trainings and a commitment to improve communications between law enforcement and the community. The goal is for law enforcement to be seen as a resource for all and for our county to demonstrate the principles of fairness, honor, and community.
These organizations recognize that tension and emotions are connected with the upcoming election. The position of this statement is that civil unrest, disorder, and violence are not the attributes of a healthy Monroe County. Voting is important. Political election of public servants is critical. These activities should elicit emotion. But these emotions should be expressed, peacefully and respectfully.
Collectively, we stand for UNITY. We believe in treating everyone with DIGNITY. We think that RESPECT is possible despite disagreement. We value EQUALITY where no one feels like an “other”. We pursue JUSTICE for all while opposing discrimination and mistreatment of some.
Remember the lessons from childhood. Be a gracious winner. Don’t gloat. If your candidate loses, keep your composure. Advocate. Volunteer. Get involved for the next election.
Monroe County, we are counting on you to be the example for the rest of the state and country.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Stroud Area Regional Police
Kent J. Werkheiser
Pocono Township Police Department
Pocono Mountains Regional Police Department
Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Michael B. Tukeva
Pocono Mountains United Way
For a PDF of the above statement that you can share, please click here: Joint Statement on the Election