The Task Force submitted questions to each of the candidates in the upcoming election. Here's the reply from Deb Ruehle, candidate for Sandpoint City Council.
1. The mission of the BCHRTF is to affirm the American principles and ideals of the inviolable dignity and worth of each human being. Who do you think experiences the most discrimination in our community? Is it discrimination based upon race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic status or disability (including mental illness)?
Adults and children with low socioeconomic status.
2. The BCHRTF was established in 1992 to confront the growing challenges of white supremacist organizations and activities in our around Bonner County. To what extent do you think that challenge exists today? Is this still a challenge—or should the TF say ‘mission accomplished?
The problem still exists and not just in Bonner County but nationwide.
3. What do you think can be done to counter the reputation that North Idaho has, nationwide, as a haven for racists and white nationalists?
The continued support of this organization by the residents of this region- it’s a long continuous process in which we cannot become complacent.
4. How does this reputation affect the lives of those of us who live here? How does this reputation affect our community’s ability to attract potential employees and visitors?
It has an economic impact, effecting our ability to attract new companies to locate here. It also effects tourism dollars spent here, therefore effecting local jobs in both winter and summer.
5. How important do you think it is to work toward making Sandpoint a community where everyone feels valued, everyone feels safe and everyone can thrive?
Treat everyone with kindness. Do not judge others until you have stood in their shoes and then still do not judge. Do not make assumptions about others. If everyone could do this more frequently Sandpoint would be a better place for everyone to live and feel welcome.
6. Finally... if you are elected, what is the first step you would take toward making the above vision a reality?
When I’m re-elected I will continue to stand for kindness, and equity, and base my decisions upon these principles.