RE: March 27, Board of Supervisors Meeting

At the meeting of the Orange County Board of Supervisors held on March 27, 2018, numerous residents of the county came to address the Board, demonstrating a high level of civic engagement and a wide spectrum of perspectives.

Unfortunately, the meeting dissolved into hostility, name-calling and scapegoating. Such vitriol plainly impedes the ability of people – like-minded or not – to work together. This weakens our ability to address issues like homelessness and immigrant integration, and communicates the wrong message to our children.

At OC Human Relations, we believe that all people deserve to live free from violence and discrimination. Generally, residents in our county share in the belief that our community should be a safe place where ideas can be freely expressed and we can all have the opportunity to thrive.

We live in a county of diverse people and ideas. It is not uncommon for these ideas and the people who express them to find themselves at odds. These disagreements are not in and of themselves negative; in fact, a “marketplace of ideas” has the capacity to stimulate better ideas and new solutions to old problems.

As an organization, OC Human Relations embraces opportunities for public discourse and civic engagement, knowing that we each can bring passionate view points and beliefs to the conversation. But we also know that the power of these conversations to be productive, to improve lives, and solve problems is severely diminished when they are punctuated with disrespectful language, threats, and intolerance.

For our county to continue to be the dynamic region it has become, we must preserve our ability to embrace the people and ideas that are necessary to innovate and problem solve. OC Human Relations is committed to the respectful, thoughtful discourse that helps us understand other perspectives and create more inclusive solutions to our most challenging issues.

We call upon elected leaders and residents to join our effort to bridge differences and create stronger communities for all. Together we can create a #HateFreeOC!

If you stand with us, please sign, live, and share our pledge:
I PLEDGE to respect others regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, age, or religious affiliation.

I PLEDGE to do my part to create an inclusive, hate-free environment in my community, neighborhood, business, workplace and/or school.

I PLEDGE to speak up in instances of prejudice and discrimination.

I PLEDGE to challenge myself to be a more effective listener to the concerns of others who have different perspectives and experiences than mine.

I PLEDGE to eliminate all forms of prejudice from my words and actions.

I PLEDGE to report hate activity and hate crimes.

I PLEDGE to be an ally to communities that have been targeted by hate and prejudice.

Therefore, I will treat all people with dignity and respect; and I will strive daily to honor this pledge, knowing that the world will be a better place because of my effort.

Take the pledge here: