Amy Byres

It is safe to say, as a country, we have been through a lot recently.

With each month presenting us with a new challenge, we see heroes rise. Each of these challenges that we see on the national scale can be seen here at home.

There were many peaceful protests in Albuquerque after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. There was also a riot, damaging many local businesses.

Like there are good cops, there are good protesters. The acts of rioters should not define a movement such as Black Lives Matter.

With this being said, true change can come in many ways. I invite people to educate themselves about systematic racism: what it means and looks like in our own lives.

People have power in this country. Voting and staying connected to local governments is a duty each of us must take seriously.

It is up to the people to hold local governments and agencies accountable.

When I say accountable, I do not mean to imply a punishment, but instead, I imply enrichment.

Educating governments and agencies about a subject like Black Lives Matter can be done. But what enriches those organizations is including diversity in policymaking and enforcing.

Our government can be a wonderful thing. We are able to share our experiences and thoughts at meetings like county commission, city council, the education board and many more.

Here, our voices can be heard. We become engaged citizens the moment we walk through the door.

Call local representatives, let them know you are a constituent and share your concern.

Educate yourself on each candidate you vote for. The person that you vote for should represent your thoughts and priorities.

There would be no government without its citizens. It is a privilege for the government to serve its community.

As a member of the media, I recognize the privilege, and responsibility, I have to report on the government in order for our community to be free and self-governing. When the pandemic hit, I often heard, “We are in this together,” and it couldn’t be truer now.