By Jean Hamilton
“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
Waiting for the results of the 2020 election was tension-filled and felt never-ending. The news of Biden’s and Harris’s win brought relief and celebration. However, the state results with Republican gains raised concerns, for these outcomes point to a deep divide in North Carolina about the performance of President Trump and the direction that the state and nation should go.
I care about that deep divide because I care about our democracy and believe that a nation founded on democratic principles and practices can and should ensure the welfare of all residents. I care about the deep divide because on Dec. 7 I will take the oath of office to become an Orange County Commissioner. Especially in this age of COVID-19, to meet the needs of our residents, we will require increased support from state and federal governments as well as partnerships with every stakeholder in the county.
We need to heal the divide if we want to live in a country where all of us feel secure and we safeguard the future for our children. I believe that we start by actualizing President-elect Biden’s words and stop demonizing each other. We need to listen deeply with our hearts and minds to people whose views are different from our own, to gain understanding, and to seek common ground.
If we cannot find common ground, then we respectfully disagree and state our case in a way that builds trust for future conversations. This is the approach I plan to take as county commissioner.
I will end this with deep thanks for all the people who supported my campaign by volunteering, donating, attending events and/or providing moral support and advice. Special thanks goes to the members of my campaign committee and my husband. Without all of the support I received, I would not have been successful.
Together we can forge a more equitable and sustainable Orange County.
Jean Hamilton is an Orange County Commissioner-elect.