Perhaps there was a mistake, but Asheville City Mayor Esther Manheimer forgot to include an entire paragraph WNC4Peace submitted for an International Day of Peace proclamation, which will be observed here and around the world via Zoom.
This paragraph, which went through five editors within our peace organizations, was the following:
“Whereas, in this time of escalating Climate Change and the Covid pandemic, we lament that there have been political and economic actions taken by our elected representatives that threaten the health and well being of the people, of the environment, and of our Democratic process. We specifically call attention to Buncombe County Commissioners’ decision to provide millions in tax incentives and other inducements to Pratt-Whitney, part of Raytheon Technologies, one of the largest and most profitable weapons merchants in the world. We believe that it is not in the best interest of our community to align with industries with a record of environmental harm that choose profit over life.”
Some may say our document was too long (190 words compared to 378 words last year). The omitted part was 109 words. Last year we had 25 endorsers, compared to 27 this year. So more endorsers supported our proclamation this year than in 2020.
My apologies to our endorsers this year. We’ll try to work closer with our elected officials next year.
And let me say, we do appreciate the city of Asheville working with us on proclaiming peace every year since we started in 2010.
In addition, Brownie Newman, chair of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, has just informed us that neither he nor the commission will sign our proclamation this year. We are disappointed.
— Rachael Bliss