Many downtown Salem businesses have begun to display a sign proclaiming inclusion for all members of the community.
The signs state, “We welcome ALL races, ALL religions, ALL countries of origin, ALL sexual orientations, ALL genders. We stand with you, you are safe here.”
They are a work of personal advocacy by a local man disturbed by the country’s division and the demonifying of certain groups since the Trump election.
His work reflects, on a small scale, potentially far-reaching decisions made on a larger scale at the Capitol building, where Governor Kate Brown showed Oregon’s priorities on February 2. She then issued an order that forbids all state employees – rather than just law enforcement personnel and agencies – to help federal immigration officials locate or apprehend undocumented immigrants.
Rejecting the position that undocumented people are criminals, Brown said, “I am committed to… protecting the human and civil rights of everyone in our state.”
The very similar proclamation on the signs displayed by small local businesses indicate that many in Oregon oppose a non-inclusive society.
The sign’s creator, who took the initiative to design and produce the signage, told Salem Weekly, “I have never been an activist before. Until now.”
The visibility of his work on downtown streets can be said to show what one individual can achieve to promote inclusion.