As the arduous process continues for the replacement of Line 3, there are many of us in northern Minnesota who are equally as concerned as Julia Nerbonne of Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light. We are concerned about our voices being heard, about the safety and future of our communities, and about our prospects for quality employment.
For years we have watched and waited as the most studied and reviewed pipeline project in Minnesota has been protested and delayed, often for reasons that courts have, thankfully, said were wrong.
Recent events in Minnesota, across our nation and in our backyard have us equally distressed by the condition of our social fabric and our ability to treat one another with respect regardless of opinion.
We must find a way to be respectful to one another, especially when we do not agree.
The most powerful step we can all make is to join a growing movement called Respect Minnesota. It’s a commitment to listen to one another and seek mutual understanding, to be inclusive and to respect our beautiful state and one another.
Our city of Clearbrook, unions, chambers of commerce, and more than 3,700 individuals across our state have already taken the pledge to stand up for values that I believe we can all agree on. The Respect Minnesota pledge reads:
- I support free speech and a safe environment for everyone.
- I will listen, be inclusive and look for common ground.
- I will respect others, our natural environment, and local communities.
- I will respect the cultural heritage and history of indigenous people.
- I will be accountable for my words and actions and abide by the law.
This pledge is more than just words. It’s a challenge and an opportunity to be better. To do better. To be responsible for ourselves and the world around us.
Minnesotans are passionate about the history and beauty of our state and are invested in leaving a great state for future generations, and that includes those of us who are in favor of Line 3.
This is a challenging time for all of us, especially here in our part of Minnesota. The tension, fear and concern are real in our communities. What happened recently at our fairgrounds and comments people share on social media test us and our commitment to this pledge, but we are dedicated to a better tomorrow.
We will continue to support Line 3 because we know it is important to Minnesota, our communities, and our future. And we will honor and respect all voices and implore everyone to do the same.
Take the first step to creating a better state and join the movement to Respect Minnesota. To join us in taking the pledge and learn more about Respect Minnesota, visit the website at Respect Minnesota.
Dylan Goudge is the mayor of Clearbrook, Minnesota.
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