If there was ever a time to move beyond partisan politics and posturing in favor of a solutions-oriented approach to improving our community, one that is based on our commonly-held values and humanity, that time is now.

We all want our community to be vibrant, prosperous, inviting and safe for all the people who live here and those who visit. If we took the approach of actually listening to each other instead of just talking at each other, we’d likely find the values that we hold in common to be many.

We have serious issues to address in our Del Norte community that will never be remedied unless we stop seeing each other as perpetual enemies and start seeing each other as potential partners.

Let’s be clear: this isn’t a naïve call to gather around the campfire, roast s’mores and sing Kumbaya. The truth of the matter is that, on some issues, there are competing views that cannot be reconciled. When we’re talking about local issues that affect the daily lives of our friends and neighbors, though, this kind of division is few and far between. We must understand that when it comes to addressing important topics in our community, we should agree to work together when we can, and disagree when we can’t. More succinctly said, we strive to implement the following principle with our work in the public square: “There are no permanent allies, and there are no permanent enemies.”

In the end, we have a choice to make about what we want to do regarding the social, economic and political conditions of the place where we live. Are we willing to try and work together or not?

Mike Thornton, lead organizer

True North Organizing Network