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There are people in our community redefining what heroism and leadership looks like

We all have a mental image of a heroine or hero. That person who puts their life on the line in the service of others. That person who gives of themselves fully for the betterment of the whole. My mental image list is long and most likely fairly traditional.

The same holds true for my images of leaders. Perhaps we aspire to emulate them. Perhaps we simply admire them, comforted to know that there are people who will do what needs to be done. They will stay calm and carry on under trying or life-threatening circumstances.Manz

In this time of pandemic as our worlds shrink to home and social distanced walks or runs, to video conferencing, phone calls, texts and social media, there are people in our community redefining what heroism and leadership looks like. Who are these people? The cashier at the market with the colorful tats and quick quips working a double shift. The folks volunteering to do grocery runs for their neighbors. The people operating our food banks and Meals on Wheels. The pharmacy teams working overtime to secure our medications.

The factory workers ramping up to produce vital goods. The truck drivers keeping the supply chains going. The warehouse workers boxing those goods. The mail person and delivery drivers bringing those boxes to our now small worlds.

The city staff members who keep our water flowing, the sewers clear, the civic information at the ready, the computers online — the operation of the City of Lake Oswego humming. They join our police and firefighters, our medical teams, mental health professionals and hospitals in the first line of action and defense during the pandemic. I applaud them all.

Inspiration, leadership and heroism will come in forms yet to be defined. This is our moment as a community, as a people, to give back. This is the time to plant the seeds of goodness and giving, joy and laughter. This is the time to do what we can to add, not take from our community. There will be time enough for a debrief later. Right now, this moment and for the foreseeable future, let's all support one another.

Let's be creative and kind. Let's listen and pay heed. We are #LOtogether. I'll close with one my favorite Brian Doyle quotes, "Be tender and laugh." Absolutely, I'm on it.

Jackie Manz is the 2020 council president for the City of Lake Oswego City Council. If you need assistance from the City, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503-635-0257.


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