POC and allies organize

We are Teton People of Color and Allies, a newly formed local group striving for dialogue and education surrounding marginalized groups in Jackson. Our first event, A March for Unity, on June 14, was a good starting point to connect with our community and demonstrate solidarity with worldwide Black Lives Matter movements.

Just two weeks prior to the event we first met one another and began brainstorming about ways we could bring more activism and allyship into the valley. We are proud of our community and those who chose to participate. The quiet aspect of the march was powerful. It allowed folks to reflect on why they attended. In our busy lives we do not often allow ourselves time for reflection. We hope that the forum at Town Square helped people hear, see and feel things that perhaps they had never thought of before in the way it was presented to them.

As Teton People of Color and Allies our goal is to build a community that is 100% inclusive. We will continue to do the work to break down systemic injustice, racism and inequality. We invite any and all allies to assist in these endeavors. Your voice matters. Our purpose is to celebrate our community’s cultural diversity while shedding light on the challenges minorities face. Our mission is to spread awareness, educate and spark dialogue while breaking down social barriers.

We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and similar movements across the world. Several community members have asked us where to donate money. There are many great organizations that would love your support, and we are currently holding a Facebook fundraiser for The Loveland Foundation. Founded by Rachel Cargle, it provides therapy and resources for communities of color, particularly Black women and girls. Please visit the link on our Facebook page (Teton People of Color and Allies) if you are interested.

If we do not have your email address and you would like to be on our email list, please share that with us through Facebook and we will keep you posted on future gatherings and community service projects.

We are actively pursuing nonprofit status as well as building our website. Please stay tuned as we plan our next event and get in touch with those interested in helping. Thank you, Jacksonites, for your support, and we look forward to building a future of justice and understanding with you.

Co-presidents Koriann Arritt and Jailynn Wallace, Creative Directors Emma Detrick and Luke Zender, Administrative Director Tina Seay, Administrative Assistant Kathie Chandler, Marketing Director Kenny Perez

Mask requirement

Many countries, states, towns, airlines, the Pentagon and other entities now require face mask use in places where physical distancing cannot be maintained, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With the reemergence of COVID-19 in Jackson Hole, the state of Wyoming unwilling to act and the Teton County Board of County Commissioners unable to act, it is imperative that the town of Jackson pass an ordinance requiring face mask use when 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained, especially indoors. The town of Jackson has “home rule” authority to do this.

Merchants are being placed in an impossible position by requiring face masks to protect themselves, customers and employees without an ordinance to back them up.

This is a public health issue, not a political issue. Face mask use can dramatically reduce transmission of the novel coronavirus.

Much like traffic laws, an ordinance requiring face mask use does not infringe on our liberties — it is a neighborly action that helps protect public health and safety.

Voluntary exhortations and appeals to the state of Wyoming are not working. The Jackson Town Council must take action, supported by the Teton County Commission, to protect us by requiring face mask use by all.

Jackson Hole residents Larry and Linda Peterson Perlman, Eric Harslem, Louise and Ralph Haberfeld, Hank and Leslie Phibbs, James A. Luebbers, Diane Schafer and Jeffery Stein, Robert M. Halper, Sandra and Bruce Tully, Mimi and Bobby Stein, Stan Trachtenberg, Gigi and Michael Halloran, June and Steve Wolfson, Charlie Thomson, Stuart Sugarman, Phil Winder, Ann and Bernard Gersh, Craig Schwender, Scott Spector, Dale and Jay Kaplan, Paul W. Hansen, Walter Thulin, Jennifer and Mike Tennican, Peter Benoliel, Sheldon Guren, Joe Albright, Beryl Weiner, James Hunt, Betsy and Jim Hesser, Amy and Stephen Unfried, Eliot Gerson, Geoff Gottlieb

Mask requirement

Thank you for your recent front page article on the wearing of masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I commend those merchants requiring the wearing of masks in their stores for their courage and their concern for the health of our community. They do so at a cost to themselves during what are already difficult economic times. It is unfortunate that our councilors and commissioners do not possess this same courage and concern.

As to those who feel their constitutional rights are infringed by the requirement to wear a mask I ask: Where in the Constitution does it ensure the rights of ignorance and selfishness?

Can’t we be find a way to better than this?

Dan Baker

Teton Village

Letters to the editor should be limited to 400 words, be signed and include a town of residence and a telephone number for verification. Letters are due by 5 p.m. Monday. No thank yous or political endorsement letters. Guest Shot columns are limited to 800 words. Email editor@jhnewsandguide.com.

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