It’s with a heavy heart I find myself again prompted to speak out and be the voice of many in this community. I’m not a political activist; I’m your every day Homer citizen. Over the last 20 years, I have made your sandwiches at Subway, helped you find hangars at Ulmer’s, checked you in at the airport and marshaled in your aircraft when you returned, bagged your groceries at Safeway, and now I happily prepare your delicious popcorn and greet you with a smile when you come to be entertained at the Homer Theater.
I’m the mom in the pickup line at three of our local schools. I’m the lady selling books at the Book Fair, and Scentsy to make your house smell amazing. My husband is officiating your kids’ basketball games and volunteering time with the Boy Scouts. We’re not racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, white supremacists hell bent on preventing Homer from being a diverse community. We are you. We are Homer. We are your neighbors, the people that you meet when you’re walking down the street. We just happened to vote differently in this election.
When the headlines locally, statewide, and now even nationally read, “Record Crowd Speaks Against Inclusion” or “Homer City Council votes down Inclusivity Resolution,” I challenge those headline writers to consider their part in furthering the divide in this community. We did not vote against inclusivity. We welcome it. That’s the spirit of Homer, and why we love this community, because it is the Hamlet by the Sea, where people of all political persuasions and differing ideas can co-exist harmoniously. It’s exactly that that makes us “weird.” We don’t have the divide other communities have, and to continue to create a wedge by adopting Lower 48 narrative, well… it needs to stop.
This resolution brought long-time residents and Homer council members to tears as they gave testimony to the division it has caused. Friendships affected feelings of hostility….for what?! People want to say there were winners and losers here… zero sum game. I say otherwise, I say we all lose as a community when we allow ourselves to be divided. We’ve always followed the Homer Code of “live and let live.” We know we differ on politics, but it doesn’t matter, because we get to drive up and down Baycrest and witness beauty others only wish they could. We get to smile and wave at each other as we buy our groceries, wait in line at the Post Office, watch the eagles soar and the moose munch. When there’s a tragedy in town, we rally around our own. We don’t ask who they voted for. No one in this town spoke against inclusivity as it embodies each and every one of us that calls Homer, home. We are inclusivity, and we have never needed a piece of paper to tell us that.
Regardless of who sits in the Oval Office, at any given time, we all call Homer home. I vote we all continue to keep Homer weird by showing the rest of the world that we will not buy into the divisive narrative of the Lower 48, and that we will stand together strong as a community. Stronger together, to keep Homer great. We are above this.