I believe that Black Lives Matter, and I believe in the action it has generated across the world.

I believe that women must have equal rights in all arenas, including pay equity.

I believe that the right to vote is sacred for all citizens whether they are black, brown or indigenous.

I believe in justice and equality for all who come to this land as immigrants now, just as our ancestors before us came as immigrants.

I believe that systemic racism is real and prevalent in all our communities, and that we must now work harder than ever to end it.

I believe that our treatment of Native Americans (here before any of us) is egregious. I believe in the rights of the LBGTQ community.

I believe in the strength of the survivors of domestic violence and sexual violence, and those struggling with mental illness.

I believe that quality health care is a right, not a privilege given only to those who can afford it.

I believe that low income individuals and families who struggle each day to survive deserve our respect and support not denigration, nor an attempt to generate fear or hatred.

I believe in the science, and in the fact that masks really do help to prevent COVID 19.

I believe in our democracy and the possibilities it promises for all who live in our country, and for all who come to our shores. As is carved into our Statue of Liberty – “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I think, though, that I most strongly believe in the powers of government as defined in our Constitution and the amendments that followed, as well as in the separation and limitations on those powers.

And I firmly believe that, while the reach of the executive branch has grown over the years, the current executive is grossly overstepping the limitations of these powers in vastly dangerous ways. I believe that this is most recently evident in the cuts being made to our US Postal Service (established as part of our Constitution and on whom so many across our country rely), and by the almost boastful statements made by this current executive that these actions taken are purposefully intended to facilitate voter suppression.

And, although I do not have a degree in law, I believe that this kind of admitted intent by any public official might be considered a violation of the law.

What do you believe?

Linda Rost

Geneseo

Johnson Newspapers 7.1