It is with deep sadness that we write to you today. Over the weekend we witnessed a great tragedy in Arizona and our hearts go out Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who was critically wounded by a lone gunman during a routine constituent gathering. We mourn the deaths of nine year old Christina Taylor Green, Giffords' staff member Gabe Zimmerman, US District Judge John M. Roll, Dorwan Stoddard, Dorothy Morris and Phyllis Schneck and send our thoughts and prayers to all those who were wounded along with their families, friends and the entire community that was affected by this tragic act of violence.
Congresswoman Giffords embodies the Emerge mission. As a young leader in Arizona she moved up from being the youngest serving Representative in the Arizona State House to the State Senate in 2003 and was elected to Congress in 2006. She made controversial votes because they were right and she encouraged other women to run and serve for the greater good. She was one of the first legislators to sign on to the Advisory Board of Emerge Arizona and has always been a strong supporter - our entire Emerge family prays for her recovery.
It is difficult to put our emotions into the right words – sadness, anger, shock, disappointment, fear – but we must not let these emotions squelch our belief that public service is a noble profession. We cannot sit back in fear. Now more than ever we need women to engage in politics, to bring civility to the process and change the tone in which we speak about the issues and each other. We need a government that listens to our concerns, stands up for what is right and fights for the greater good. There is no time for us to allow violence and fear to stand in the way of all that needs to be done and we hope that as a country we can find some good and purpose out of this tragic and devastating event.
"Our democracy is a light—a beacon, really—around the world because we affect change at the ballot box and not because of these outbursts of violence." – Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, March 25, 2010
Everyone in the Emerge network