Fourth of July Message from Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken

 

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City Hall                                                                                                                          TEL 978-281-9700
Nine Dale Avenue                                                                                                        FAX 978-281-9738
Gloucester, MA 01930                                                                             stheken@gloucester-ma.gov
City of Gloucester
Office of the Mayor

Next week is the Fourth of July, a day in which we celebrate the founding of our great country.  In the coming years, we will also be celebrating 400 years since the founding of Gloucester.  It is times like these that I believe we need to pause and reflect on who we are as a community.

Our beloved city has always been forward thinking.  We supported the Continental Army during the Revolution when the idea of liberty and freedom of speech for all men and women was a traitorous and foreign concept.  Gloucestermen fought alongside those from the other thirteen colonies and we won our freedom from the British and the opportunity to start a new country.

Throughout our history we have been strong and passionate supporters of individual rights.  Gloucester is a tight knit community of neighbors, of family and of friends.  We have been through much together in our 400 year existence and, I hope and pray, we will continue on for another 400 years.  Visitors recognize our sense of history and community and that is why they love visiting Gloucester.

It is no secret that our national politics have become destructive.  Both sides are more interested in driving wedges than in building bridges.  The promotion of fear and hate, intimidation and aggression has become common place.  In recent months, I have started to see this toxicity begin to seep into our community discourse and it concerns me deeply.  This is not who we are.  If we allow this type of politics to take hold, it will tear us apart.

I believe in a better Gloucester.  A Gloucester where we speak our minds but we do so with respect for other people.  A Gloucester where we act with compassion towards our fellow citizens.  A Gloucester where we understand that each and every one of us is equal.  Our values, our concerns, our lives… we are part of the fabric of this community.  Every one of us deserves respect and compassion no matter what our beliefs even when providing that respect and compassion is difficult.

Gloucester has been a pioneer in addressing national controversies head on.  We can, once again, lead by example and not allow political disagreement to ruin the community we have worked so hard to build. We must give our neighbors and our friends the respect they deserve… the respect that we would want in return.  We must continue to work towards building a just, fair and compassionate Gloucester.  It is what our forefathers fought and died for and it is what our children and grandchildren deserve.  I hope you and your family have a happy and safe Fourth of July.

 

Sefatia Romeo Theken

Mayor

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