A message to Union City, from Congregations Organizing for Renewal and Our Allies:
Over the weekend, the Alvarado neighborhood and the Union City community were impacted by an act of vandalism targeting the Filipino community. While the motives and situation of the person or people who spray-painted local establishments are unknown, there are a few things that we do know.
We know that acts of this nature are harmful to the entire community. This was not an act against only Filipino community members; it is an act aimed at increasing divisive sentiments throughout Union City. It is an act that is aimed not only at the vandalized buildings, but aimed at the very nature of unity, of honoring and respecting the many histories and lives that shape our community.
We also know that, when there is harm in a community, it takes an entire community to heal and address the harm. To restore trust, to restore wellbeing, to restore the human dignity of those impacted, it takes a commitment from every person.
A commitment to restoration, not retribution.
A commitment to listening as much as speaking.
A commitment to pro-actively working towards something better, rather than reactively tearing ourselves further apart.
As Nobel Prize winner Elias Canetti said, “Justice requires that everyone should have enough to eat. But it also requires that everyone should contribute to the production of food.” So we are each called to contribute to the wellbeing of our community, so that we might each enjoy true wellbeing.
Union City is no stranger to violence, but we have worked together, East side and West, Latino and Filipino, Christian and Sikh, to build something better and bigger than any one of us alone.
As representatives of many communities, we speak with one voice as we call for greater determination to strengthen our relationships with one another, to create opportunities of understanding and shared experience, and to be generous with good will.
“For the work of the righteous shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness, calm and confidence forever.” (Isaiah 32:17)
Fr. Jose Leon, Our Lady of the Rosary Church, COR Board
Assemblymember Bill Quirk, District 20
Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci, Mayor of Union City
Rev. David Borglum, Minister, Fremont Congregational Church (UCC)
Deacon Dennis Davis, St. Leander’s Church
Rev. Drew Nettinga, Associate Conference Minister, United Church of Christ Northern California Nevada
Michael Wharton, Co-Chair: COR Board
Supervisor Richard Valle, District 2