Editor’s note: One letter originally published here was removed at the writer’s request.
To understand why leaders of the United States have separated immigrant children from their parents and locked them in cages under inhumane conditions, we might consider a quote from the short story “The Meadow,” written by the late author Ray Bradbury and collected in the anthology, “The Golden Apples of the Sun”:
“Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage.”
Growing up undocumented, I understand firsthand the struggles that members of our community face. At one point, I felt I did not exist because I lacked a Social Security number and the documents providing written evidence that I did in fact exist.
Because of that, I strongly support the pending municipal ID ordinance in the Unified Government of Wyandotte County. It would give my family access to basic services such as bank accounts and health care. It would make my family members feel welcome in a place where they have built community, contributed to the economy and lived for many years.
To be clear, having a municipal ID would not change anyone’s immigration status. But it certainly would help people create more welcoming spaces in the neighborhoods they call home.
When I was undocumented, I considered law enforcement officials a threat. Family members in Wyandotte County often hear gunshots at night but never call the police because doing so would put them in jeopardy, as officers typically ask for identification. Furthermore, having a municipal ID would make reporting crime a less frightening experience.
I fully support the ACLU of Kansas’ Safe and Welcoming Kansas municipal ID campaign because I strongly believe everyone, regardless of immigration status, should feel welcome in the community they love and support.
Why would a 57-year-old, straight, white male living in Missouri vote for a 37-year-old, gay mayor from Indiana?
Let’s start with the word “integrity.” This isn’t something we have seen a lot of in politics lately.
When asked a question, Pete Buttigieg answers it without expanding upon some agenda meant to divert your attention from the facts.
In fact, he even accepts responsibility for jobs not completed. In response to a question about why a situation with the South Bend, Indiana, police force wasn’t resolved to the community’s satisfaction, he replied, “Because I couldn’t get it done.”
Let’s continue with commitment. How many candidates have paused their campaigns to take care of business at home? Buttigieg has.
Let’s talk about the concept of “servant leadership.” He’s not a boss or a manager. He’s a leader. He knows he is here to serve. He knows he was elected (and will be in 2020) to do what is best for the people.
He also knows there is a difference between what people want and what people need. And he will take care of our needs.
I encourage others to research, listen, question — and then make your own decisions. Not because someone told you whom you should vote for, but because you made the best decision you could.
That’s what Mayor Pete would do.