Keep divisive politics out of sheriff's race
Recently, as a Sierra Club volunteer, I encountered literature from the Mendrick for Sheriff campaign that I found to be divisive and contrary to the principles espoused on the campaign website, which states "Public Safety, Not Politics!" The flyer stated that Commander Mendrick, if elected Sheriff of DuPage County, will be "making our streets safer by ending illegal immigration" and will "protect our conservative values."
Before retirement, I enforced environmental laws. I swore to defend the Constitution of the United States. Immigration laws may need to be fixed, but I would want law enforcement officers to treat illegal immigrants no differently than how I would want my grandmother treated, that is, with respect. Everyone in DuPage deserves the protection of law, and lawbreakers must be handled in a fair and consistent fashion under the law, not as a means to protect political values.
The Mendrick campaign, and any other political campaign organization related to the election of law enforcement officials, should avoid divisive campaigning that exploits and incites misunderstanding, whether intended or not.
Divisive politics should never be considered acceptable in our society today. It does not help public discourse and does not solve our complicated social problems. It makes it harder for us as volunteers to include all of DuPage citizens as we work toward making DuPage County a better place for all of us to enjoy and thrive.
Divisive politics magnifies our social, economic, and environmental issues, and makes effective policing more difficult for the men and women who chose to serve and protect us. It's time we took a stand against divisive politics, and I invite Commander Mendrick to join me in that effort.
Jeff Gahris, Executive Chair
Sierra Club, River Prairie Group