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Incident at Riverfront Park Prompts Message from Mayor

May 07, 2020

To the Citizens of Sedro-Woolley:

After the incident at Riverfront Park today, I am moved to share with you my thoughts and concerns. We all understand these are unprecedented and challenging times, and together we are preserving to maintain safety and health as we deal with a virus we still do not fully understand.

We acknowledge the mandates we are being asked to abide by are unlike any other we've known in our country’s history, and we are concerned with some of what our Governor is asking us to do. We are a nation who values our freedoms and rights, so it is to be expected there will be individuals who may not believe the Governor’s protocol is the right avenue for us to be following as we move through this historic pandemic. But the harsh reality is that none of us get to pick and choose which rules we are going to follow. 

As your Mayor, and with our Police department, it is our responsibility to uphold the directives issued by our Governor, Jay Inslee, whether we completely agree with them or not. As a citizen, you have the freedom to expostulate or express objection to something you believe is infringing on your rights; every citizen has the right to protest about their concerns, and as city government, we support that.

However, none of us have the right to endanger others in the process. A clear example of that is what happened at Riverfront Park today. 

While encouraging children to play on park equipment may have appeared to be making a statement to the Governor regarding our constitutional rights, in essence it may have possibly endangered their lives. If even one of those children were unknowingly carrying the COVID-19 virus, it may have put all the other children in harms way. 

There is a reason we are social distancing and taking precautions to protect ourselves and others. I  know this community, and I know how much we care for one another. We all want to get back to a place where our children can play on the equipment in the park with friends and family. We all want to see every business reopened and our churches gather to worship. We all want to get back to a place where our community is healthy and engaged again. The only way that will happen is for all of us to move forward with perseverance, courage and tolerance. We will get through this, but we must do it together. Here is a link to send the Governor a message stating your concerns

But if it is important for you to make known your disapproval through protest, then please choose do it in a manner that keeps you, our neighbors and families safe. As it states in the Declaration of Independence, we all are deserving of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

Thank you,

Julia Johnson, Mayor
City of Sedro-Woolley