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I encourage you to watch a previous City Council meeting or two if you haven’t already. I mean really watch, listen, and pay attention. There’s a good chance that like me when I watched one several years ago, and meetings since then, you will be shocked and saddened by what you discover. You will see that not all Council members get the respect they deserve. I thank Councilor Bova for calling that out at the Oct. 26th meeting and sharing just how uncomfortable it is for all of us who are watching and expect more/better. Councilor Bova’s honesty, integrity, and transparency will be sorely missed. I’d like to thank my Ward rep Councilor McCalla for asking questions, so that she knows exactly what she’s voting on, and can then clearly explain it to her constituents who have their own questions. You should never be put down for trying to educate yourself on something, so that you’re then able to educate others.

I’ve always been interested in politics and democracy. One of the reasons I ran myself two years ago, was due to the lack of civility I was witnessing on a city level, and I wanted to see meetings with a more positive tone (acknowledging individuals, showing inclusion…). You can cut the toxicity and tension with a knife sometimes. It’s now making me not want to participate in local government, as an engaged/activated Millennial resident, and I don’t know about you, but I feel like that’s the opposite of democracy. As a city, we deserve to have civic leaders who are sitting at the table, ALL being seen and heard, working together, and inspiring residents like me.

When you’re a part of a body, especially in the political sense, and now more than ever in these turbulent times our country is facing, it’s your duty to protect and defend those serving around you. Politics is stirring up so much division lately, it’s up to all of us to serve as a united front here in Newport, especially if it’s in a non-partisan arena. While there are always going to be opposing viewpoints, there’s no need for no respect given. I know that my Ward rep will continue to serve with authenticity and empathy, and that’s why I admire her so much. I ask that she be shown more courtesy over the next two years. Not only will I be watching, but I’m making sure others are paying attention as well.

Meagan Landry, Newport resident

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