Councilmember Bagshaw left office on December 31, 2019. This website is for archival purposes only and is no longer updated.

Thoughts on Tucson & tonight’s vigil at Westlake Plaza



I have read many disheartening rants this week that conclude that no, we “can’t just all get along”, that civil society is dead, and that this is politics as usual. Or even worse, I heard the crud slung from both ends of the political spectrum claiming that the “other side” caused Jared Lee Loughner to pull the trigger. What garbage.

I know that we as a city can choose to respond to the horrific tragedy in Arizona last weekend in multiple ways.  As many have already done, we can blame someone or some party. We can rant. We can shrug off what happened as a normal part of our violence-numbed society.  We can loudly insist that to retain the right to bear arms, we must allow a seriously troubled man to have a 9mm Glock and all the ammunition he can buy to fire into a crowd. 

Or we can try something different and truly world-changing:  we can honor Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others impacted, by committing to actions that will lead us to treat each other with respect, be productive, and create a more civil society starting right here in Seattle and in this state. 

Here’s what I’m suggesting:  I’m interested in taking intentional steps – consider them small but mighty steps – resulting in Seattle being known as a place where we may disagree but we do so without hate or divisiveness.  Where our discourse is dignified and rises above the din.  Where we write or blog or meet each other with respect, resulting in a city where all of us can live safely and productively. I’m ready to try a new tack; I welcome your ideas too.

We choose to create the society in which we live. For starters, we can honor those who were murdered and injured in Arizona, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the work she began. I will write more about her work in the next few days and steps we can take.  But tonight, I’m taking part in tonight’s Seattle Vigil for the Victims of the Tucson Tragedy, an event created by a number of local citizens who felt compelled to gather as a city and pay tribute to the victims of this senseless act.

The event begins at 7:30pm at Westlake Plaza, at the corner of 4th & Pine. A short program will begin at 7:45 p.m. with an invocation from Fr. James Thibodeaux, St. Peter’s Episcopal Parish, followed by readings of remembrance for each of the fallen.  All are welcome, and candles will be available.  I hope you will join me.

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