To the Editor:
As a long-time and very involved resident of Newport, I’ve run into Kate Jessup a number of times. One encounter was this past June as I was organizing the 17-flag color guard for the Pride flag raising ceremony on the steps of Newport City Hall. Kate came right up, asked if I needed help, and offered to hold a flag. She said she wasn’t part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA+) community, and was happy to help and was also happy to step back. Not every LGBTQIA+ person wants to hold a flag in a public setting. I had difficulty finding people to hold the flags representing some of the more stigmatized identities. Kate’s offer was a huge relief and the event went beautifully.
With the number of openings for City Council At-Large this election, I’m so happy to see brave people like Kate Jessup running for office. Like at the flag raising, Kate shows up and contributes. She attends City Council meetings, municipal workshops, and puts herself out there to stand with oppressed minorities who need that support very much. Kate isn’t driven by hubris and has enough humility to step back, ask questions, learn, and do better. Kate is committed to thriving diversity and making sure Newport is affordable to year-round residents. As rents skyrocket and the cost of living increases, it will be the residents representing the most oppressed demographics who are displaced first.
Leaders like Kate will work with residents to fight against oppression and build sustainable, inclusive, celebratory, community for all – especially those most oppressed such as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and LGBTQIA+ residents of Newport. Kate Jessup is the kind of person I want to see on the City Council. I encourage you to join me in voting for Katherine A. Jessup, top of the list on the ballot, for Newport City Council At-Large on November 8th.
Rex LeBeau, Newport resident