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Estacada Mayor Sean Drinkwine offers apology to Black Lives Matter protestors, city staff in statement


Estacada Mayor Sean Drinkwine has apologized to the Estacada community for a statement on Facebook about the city's demonstrations in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

"I posted a statement on a social media site that I sincerely regret. My honest intent was to reassure people and let them know that our beautiful city was safe," Drinkwine wrote in a statement on Wednesday, June 24. "Unfortunately, I hastily prepared the post, and I chose my words poorly. I tried to demonstrate responsiveness to community concerns, but I badly missed the mark."

On Monday, June 22, Drinkwine published a post in the Estacada Neighborhood Watch Uncensored Facebook Group stating that, "I would not and have not condoned these BLM vigils in our community" and "All city staff and I are working tirelessly to shut these vigils down."

In his statement on Wednesday, Drinkwine acknowledged that Estacada's Black Lives Matter demonstrations have been peaceful and that city staff has not taken action to shut them down.

"To the protesters, I offer my sincere apology for inferring that you were a threat to our community," Drinkwine wrote. "To our hardworking city staff, I apologize and am sorry that you are receiving calls accusing you of racism or questioning your commitment to free speech."

Drinkwine had previously apologized for the Facebook post during an Estacada City Council meeting on Monday evening.

"My intention was to keep violence out of the area and not so much to negate their gathering. But I expressed myself poorly," he said. "I am not a racist, by far, I love my citizens in this city and I was trying to make things safe so we wouldn't be in an altercation."

During that same meeting, city councilors issued a statement in support of peaceful assembly.

"(We) want to make perfectly clear that no one working or representing the city of Estacada has ever made any attempt to limit anyone's right to peaceful assembly regarding any matter," the statement read. "We value the diversity in our city, including diversity of opinions, and our focus has always been protecting the citizens of our citizens who are exercising their first amendment rights."

In his statement on Wednesday, Drinkwine discussed his commitment to learning from the incident.

"Throughout my life, I have made mistakes, but I have tried to learn from them and make amends. I tried to calm a situation and instead I inflamed it. My goal as mayor has been to make Estacada a place that people are proud to call home," he wrote. "I'm committed to learning from my mistake and developing a deeper understanding of these issues. I hope members of our community will be willing to make that journey with me, and that our community can work towards reconciliation."

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