This year has been unlike anything we have ever experienced as a community or as an organization, beginning with the pandemic, followed by funding scares, and, most recently, the civil unrest surrounding the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others. It requires us to evaluate how we will move forward, and we feel that it is vital to share that publicly.
L.E.A.P. is now, and always has been, unequivocally in support of equal rights for all. We believe that discrimination based on ethnicity, income, socio-economic status, creed, gender identity, or sexual orientation is unacceptable. As an agency dedicated to supporting the individuals in our community with the fewest resources, we feel compelled to voice our support for all of our communities in need, especially the Black community publicly.
The marches, protests, and demonstrations have clearly illustrated a break-down in the system. As a community action group, we must participate in creating change. We hope that by vocally denouncing violence, committing to lifting the voices of those most threatened by systemic racism, and continually working to ensure that we are not perpetuating casual racism, we can begin to build a system based on equality.
We ask you to stand with us in acknowledging and combating discrimination of all kinds. We have an opportunity to adjust how we see poverty in our community consciously; it does not take away a person’s value, but it does limit their options. We can change that.
Washington County may be a small, rural county in Upstate New York, but we are not immune to the struggles we see on the news across the United States. We continue to stand committed to working for change on both the local and national levels. We are more steadfast than ever in being the Community Action Agency for Washington County’s residents with a focus on equality and a strong community partnership.
As we have today, in the coming weeks and months, we’ll share more about how we are taking action and how you can join us.