Communities must put aside negativity

As a regular reader of this page, the reader comments and many other local, state and national media, I see frequent references to “our values.”

Sadly, a concept that should be a unifying force is being weaponized to attack members of our community, and on a larger scale, our country, with differing views. Are our values truly so different that they should cause this discord?

Through research, I discovered that our country, as a constitutional democracy, does indeed have a set of core values that over history, it has continued to espouse.

The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and other primary source documents identify these values as: life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, common good, justice, equality, diversity, truth, popular sovereignty and patriotism.

I hope this letter encourages people to strive to uphold these core values and work together to create a community that embraces these principles.

As we move forward through an already a highly charged presidential election and our own local elections, I challenge our community to seek out ways to build bridges and find common ground with one another.

We need to put aside selfishness, negativity and narrow-mindedness and strive for something better.

While we may not agree on how to get there, we do share common goals: A thriving community, economic security, good health, stable families and overall personal happiness.

Personal attacks, name calling, and finger pointing do not help us achieve our goals and are most definitely not part of our values. We are better than this.

Erin Dunkel

Altoona

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