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Our opinion: Working to solidify a community

In recent weeks, the Austin City Council and Mower County Board of Commissioners voted to endorse the Austin Community Understanding and we couldn’t be more impressed with the effort put toward unity.

The Understanding, containing five principals, shows Austin’s understanding of the importance relations play in our own community when faced with the trials throughout the nation in response to the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

Since that moment, race relations throughout the nation have been strained as people look for answers to fix a thoroughly stubborn problem that should have been solved by now.

The Understanding itself doesn’t put anything concrete into motion. This isn’t a resolution by either government body to do one thing in particular. But it does establish a fundamental principle of respect that not only shows a solidarity within our community to be welcoming, but also reflects what Austin has been doing for years.

Austin has embraced its diversity and made it a strength within the community. This is made possible by a greater understanding that permeates Austin and sets it between common viewpoints.

The Austin Community Understanding demonstrates an acknowledgement by citizens, law enforcement and civil leaders of basic expectations when interacting in day-to-day life.

Nothing is, of course, perfect. There is always room to improve, to create better understanding between people of different worlds.

We commend the work that has been done by The Hormel Foundation, Austin Police Department, Mower County Sheriff’s Department, Welcome Center and all of the others who took part in this community defining stance.

Once again, Austin is ready to welcome and accept all people of all diverse backgrounds and we are all the better for it. We hope this community, with all of its very different and celebrated people, can be a model for other communities throughout the state of coming together and facing problems as one.