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Gresham City Councilor Dina DiNucci calls for unity and understanding as the city works through issues associated with policing and fire services.

DINUCCIAs a member of our City Council, I often talk with residents about the issues that matter to them. Today, many in Gresham are concerned about crime, and the importance of a robust public safety program. Public safety is a concern across the community; it is not a partisan issue.

Unfortunately, partisan politics is getting in the way of common-sense policies here in Gresham.

On Aug. 25, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy came to Oregon to further a mid-term election political agenda.

Leader McCarthy is intensely partisan, with a hyper focus on loyalty to former President Trump, and attacking the integrity of our elections. In an effort to tie local concern for public safety to national Republican political goals, Gresham City Councilor Sue Piazza and Gresham Police Union President Tommy Walker were featured guests. A local political action committee, "Gresham United For Public Safety," parrots these values in support of a broader nationwide agenda.

Our local community needs to focus on constructive local engagement..

Here in Gresham, a commitment to public safety is an issue with common ground across the community. We all deserve effective and sustainable local government services, and a path that serves all of our community, not any one extreme agenda.

Gun violence, property crime, traffic safety, and other public safety concerns are on the mind of Gresham residents. In contrast to some other local governments, in Gresham our basic government services (such as police, fire, and parks) have been insufficiently funded for years. The topic deserves our attention.

To address those challenges, we will need to work together. As individuals, we can share constructive ideas and build bridges with one another to form consensus. We can channel helplessness or anger into long term goals through volunteering for youth organizations, or take "safety walks" with our neighbors to keep an eye out for each other. We can take notice of vehicles that may be abandoned or with missing license plates to watch out for stolen cars. We can store firearms responsibly, and keep them off our streets.

If you are concerned about public safety, stay informed of the facts regarding the police department. It is also vital to understand similar issues related to your fire department.

If you understand the details on funding, on recruitment and on long term funding plans you can help educate others on the true issues facing Gresham public safety.

This is how we bring our community together and vote to fund our public safety needs.

Political narratives are rampant, but residents equipped with the facts will help us address these issues as a community.

Dina DiNucci is a member of the Gresham City Council, Position No. 1.

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