Over the past few months I’ve written about the Coronavirus, social distancing and hygiene, business closures, travel restrictions and modified work schedules. Since March, my and my team’s attention has been almost solely on the pandemic and our community’s response. And then, over the past few weeks we’ve planned for local protests similar to those we are seeing across the nation related to race, history and inclusion. All of these on top of the day-to-day work we all must accomplish. I’ll say it again: these are challenging times.
If you have not been directly impacted by either, I am confident you know someone who has. None of these events have easy answers or a clear roadmap to follow. I am often so disturbed reading the comments I see online filled with misinformation and often hate. It is during these times that as a City family, we must pull together. I believe one of the things that makes us a strong and capable organization is our diversity: in race, ethnicity, life experience, beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, professional background, and so many other things. And its these diversities that make us strong and compassionate public servants as we are out interacting with our community every day.
Mayor Brockman has asked me to help him create community conversations to understand what the City of New Braunfels can do to understand citizen and employee perspectives on intergroup relationships. The first session scheduled for this week was with a very small group of community leaders and stakeholders. One of the requests the Mayor has for those participating in this initial group is to help plan and own more sessions that would expand the conversations to include more citizens and City employees. I look forward to what these sessions produce and to sharing that with you in future editions of the newsletter.
If you are feeling like I am - stressed, sometimes overwhelmed and discouraged - I encourage you to reach out. I am lucky to have a support network both here and at home that help me refocus on what is important and regenerates my energy to tackle these tough issues. If you need support in any way, reach out to a coworker, a confidant or I encourage you to contact our EAP for confidential support. CLICK HERE for EAP contact information.
I ask you to join me in encouraging one another, reaching out to someone who may be really struggling and extending grace to others during this time. We are One City One Team, and even with an unknown future, we will get there together.