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Our best representatives? 

When John Lewis died, I made a commitment to re-educate myself on his accomplishments, his bravery, and his sense of non-violent nobility.

Toward this end, I read his nationally acclaimed trilogy about the civil rights movement. MARCH 1-2-3 is an incredible graphic arts accomplishment that captures the passion, violence, police brutality, political prejudice, and inspirations of young college students from across the nation who risked their lives to register Black voters, desegregate lunch counters, theaters, and bathrooms and stand up for basic civil liberties.

The chronology takes place throughout the civil rights movement, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and President John F. Kennedy, the historic moment of Rosa Parks, the murder of three young freedom fighters buried in a mud hole, the bombings and deaths of little girls practicing in a church choir, andthe brutality of the beatings at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

The sad reflection of the read is how little has changed. How police suppression continues, how disenfranchisement (seen in the recent postal scandals) has not diminished, and how institutional racism continues.

I want a sheriff who stands by all the people of the county with professionalism and compassion.

I do not want a sheriff who disavows the reality of classism and prejudice, who engages in banter with Tea Party supporters, and flouts mask wearing. I do not want a sheriff eschewing medical advice or who, born of extreme privilege, doesn't understand systematic racism.

Is Ian Parkinson San Luis Obispo's best representative?

I want a district attorney who represents all of the people of the county without prejudice.

I do not want a district attorney who declares that, despite California guidance, he is the sole arbitrator of what should be deemed appropriate to prosecute. His affiliation and connection with a conservative out-of-state anti-LGBT group is shattering. He can decide when to prosecute or not prosecute LGBT hate crimes as his sole prerogative, he is the authoritarian arbitrator?

Is Dan Dow San Luis Obispo's best representative?

I want a San Luis Obispo city police chief who can communicate effectively with her college constituents.

I do not want a police chief who decides to promote multi-felony and misdemeanor charges for a 20-year-old student she claims to support and does not want to harm, in the name of a "teachable moment."

Is Deanna Cantrell San Luis Obispo's best representative?

MARCH 1-2-3 is a read that will resonate. I especially urge Parkinson, Dow, and Cantrell to read the book and reflect.

I am sad for the country and sad for a place that I love that refuses to learn and be educated.

Stephan Lamb

San Luis Obispo

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