No doubt much reflection and contemplation marked the passing of the Twelfth Night of Christmas – or the Epiphany and manifestation of our holiest thoughts and intentions. I find myself enormously encouraged by the inauguration of the new mayor of New York City and the words spoken there. That a whole city of such magnitude should find a way to issue its mandate for inclusion, fairness, justice and healing gives rise to the hope that our democratic institutions are robust enough to allow for a peaceful, if gradual, end to oppressive inequalities in America.
That the holy days should close with an historically bitter winter night reminds us that not all who live and work in Loudoun can afford to pay market rents and operate a car. I wonder how those who serve us in restaurants and retail stores made it home. Did some try to walk? Did some try to ride a bike? Would you have chosen those modes of transportation on such a night? And if not, then why do we feel it is okay to require it of our neighbors – whose cheap labor provides the community with so many economic benefits?
Surely a Town that spent five years in debate and then committed $1 million to widen the sidewalk on one block of King Street can find the political will to provide public transportation to its working citizens during the evening and weekend hours.
Why not? Well if asked, most political candidates will say something like "poor people don't vote."
They did in New York City. I suspect the phenomenon is about to spread elsewhere as well.
The puzzle needing a solution remains the dissonance between our self-image as a Christian community and our failure to require compassionate policies from our elected officials. We do not live in the Roman Empire. A democracy is responsible to God for the decisions its government makes, not merely the charities it supports.
S. Ann Robinson