Improve Landlord-Tenant Power Dynamics
As of the 8th day of January, 2019, the City of Lancaster has officially been declared a Welcoming City.
Our history teaches us that the character of Lancaster City that we love is rooted in the diversity that runs deep in our community. My first job post college was as a Refugee Resettlement Case Manager with Church World Service (CWS), the reason why Lancaster is often referred to as “America’s refugee capital.” It was at CWS that I learned we had set an example by welcoming in 20 times more refugees than the rest of the country, and still exhibited room for growth.
Lancaster City government must expand its understanding of inclusion and equity to give value to the role that language accessibility plays in increasing social equity. All public and government services, including city council meetings, must be equipped to welcome all languages to the table.
Our community also boasts an average age of 31 years old, a decade younger than the rest of Pennsylvania. It is also time for younger generations to be included in decision making; we are the generation that will be responsible for ensuring that we too leave something behind worth inheriting. The progress we seek for our city will only spring forth from the energy of our youth and the wisdom of our elders.
The importance of developing relationships cannot be understated. The only way we can move forward is by coming together as allies for one another. As an employee of YWCA Lancaster’s Sexual Assault and Counseling Center, I’ve witnessed first hand the positive impact that one identity can have on another. Everyone can be a champion for women’s rights.
And, everyone can promote an individuals decision to love whom they want to. It took me 16 years to accept my identity as a gay man, but I would want the opportunity for every child to feel supported in their identity regardless of their age and sexual orientation.