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Orcas Islanders' response to Newtown school shooting tragedy | Letter

March 1, 2013 · 5:08 PM

Thirty-six Orcas Islanders recently spent a total of 15 hours spread over a week’’s time in an effort “To reach a consensus on what changes to local practices and attitudes we can make in order to lower the risk of the tragedy at Newtown, Connecticut occurring on Orcas Island; and to draft a statement of that consensus to be published and shared with the Orcas community.”

This final edit of this statement of consensus entitled, “Strengthening Community on Orcas Island”, and a list of participants can be read in full at:  http://orcaslibrary.org/strengthcomm.html.  My suggestion is to read it as a description of the common ground found by a diverse group of people who sought a means to address a complex local issue.

Using laptops with text projected on a large viewing screen, the statement was drafted by, agreed upon, and accepted by the group in real time during the fourth and final meeting, with the further agreement that it would be “word-smithed” and final-edited; the raw statement can also be read at: http://orcaslibrary.org/strengthcomm.html along with the invitation that this group of people responded to along with the process outline for the event.

The event was originally titled, “An Orcas Island Response to the Tragedy at Newtown Connecticut”...a subtitle was later added which stated, “Build Trust First...reaching Consensus is the easy part”. Left unstated were the challenges which building trust infers.

Fred Klein

Orcas Island

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