Leavenworth Mayor Carl Florea started the practice of producing community letters for the people of Leavenworth in March. The community letter released on May 28 touched on something different than the recent COVID-19 pandemic and instead shifted focus on George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and racism as a whole.

Mayor Florea added on Monday morning that his letter wasn't to impose guilt, but note the unspoken pandemic of people of color living without justice and opportunity for years.

"None of us as part of society can turn our backs on that," said Florea. "We've got to make sure we've got a country that is justice for all and opportunity for all."

Mayor Florea describes racism as its own form of a pandemic and calls on folks to do what they can to cleanse the nation of racism.

He stated in his letter: "What makes this pandemic so horrible, is the fact that those who have it, those who carry it, those who spread it, are not its victims. But over and over and over again, we see individuals and communities of color paying the price, while we pretend it isn’t really our problem. It is our problem, and it will be with us a lot longer than COVID-19. Long after we get a vaccine for that virus we will be dealing with the insidious and pervasive effects of our racism. Unlike the COVID19 battle, where we have been drilled into social distancing and separation, this pandemic will require social connection."

The full context of the community letter can be found here.

"I think there's just some sense that we're a little town in the Cascades Mountains, we're far from any of those things. I think no, we're apart of that bigger fabric. When that fabric is torn, it tears through all of us," said Mayor Florea. "It's our duty as leaders to speak out."

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