POUGHKEEPSIE – Eleven Democratic Dutchess County legislators and one Republican signed a letter calling for an end to the “poisonous” national discourse.
The lawmakers issued a public letter following President Trump’s “expressed contempt for four congresswomen who disagree with his views, telling them to ‘go back’ (though all are US citizens and three were born in the United States).”
Democratic Legislator Rebecca Edwards said the divisive language must stop.
“All of us hope that this is not where our democratic discourse is going. We need to show mutual respect and be able to talk with each other when we disagree, respectfully,” Edwards said. “So, we felt that as elected officials ourselves when we see the kind of poisonous stuff that is being said in those situations, that we really have an obligation to speak out and say, ‘No, no, no; this is not how things should be; we need to treat each other with mutual respect and we need to be as constructive as we can.”
The lone Republican lawmaker to sign the letter was Dale Borchert. Edwards was disappointed that the other GOP members did not sign it as she said the issue is beyond political bounds.
Democrats signing the letter were: Edwards, Minority Leader Hannah Black, Assistant Minority Leader Kris Munn, Francena Amparo, Craig Brendli, Barbara Jeter Jackson, Randall Johnson, Brennan Kearney, Giancarlo Llaverias, Nick Page and Frits Zernike.