International events capture our attention today.
The violence in Catalonia has been shocking. Whatever position people take on the independence movement, violence around a democratic process through which people are attempting to express their political view is unacceptable. I have written to Barcelona Mayor Ada Calau to share my concerns and offer my support. Only two weeks ago I was sitting next to the Deputy Mayor of Barcelona at the New York Global Gathering of Mayors where we were making the case for greater powers for Mayors to shape what happens within their cities and the national and international context within which they live. I was shocked to see this development.
We will all have been appalled and shaken by the latest shooting in Vegas in the United States. With 50 dead, and the toll expected to rise, and over 500 injured, authorities are saying it’s the deadliest mass shooting since 1991. It raises questions about the fragility and divisions within US society. For Americans, it will also force the nation to again question its relationship with guns. While I do not believe the country has the national leadership to take this debate forward in any meaningful way, I do believe they have a collection of city leaders and Mayors who can. These are leaders who aren’t caught up in strategic posturing, but rather want to make life better for the people they share a city with.
We are reminded not to take our democracy and our safety for granted. We should not walk around in fear but our democracy, our community, our safety are things we must proactively build.